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Water information is fundamental to national and local economic well-being, protection of life and property, and effective management of the Nation’s water resources. The USGS works with partners to monitor, assess, conduct targeted research, and deliver information on a wide range of water resources and conditions including streamflow, groundwater, water quality, and wateruse and availability.
Water is one of seven science mission areas of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Water's mission is to collect and disseminate reliable, impartial, and timely information that is needed to understand the Nation's water resources.Read Science Plan
In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a Decree in State of New Jersey v. State of New York and City of New York in which the Court designated the position of the Delaware River Master. The Court directed that the River Master perform multiple duties and functions in administering the Decree, including the conserving the waters of the river and the Delaware River watershed; compiling data on...
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) started its first streamgage in 1889 on the Rio Grande River in New Mexico to help determine if there was adequate water for irrigation purposes to encourage new development and western expansion. The National Streamflow Information Program (NSIP) was started in 2002 in response to Congressional and stakeholder concerns about the ongoing decrease in the number...
The USGS next-generation water observing system will provide high-fidelity, real-time data on water quantity and quality necessary to support modern water prediction and decision support systems for water emergencies and daily water operations. The Delaware River Basin pilot provides an opportunity to develop the NextGen observing system in a nationally important, complex interstate river...
Water Chemistry Data for Selected Springs, Geysers, and Streams in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Beginning 2009
Results of water analyses conducted on numerous thermal and non-thermal features in Yellowstone National Park beginning in 2009. Water samples were collected and analyzed as part of research investigations on arsenic, iron, nitrogen, and sulfur redox species in hot springs and overflow drainages; the occurrence and distribution of dissolved mercury; and general hydrogeochemistry of hot springs...
The enhanced probability of catastrophic wildfires has increased our need to understand the risk of floods, erosion, and debris and contaminant transport in burned watersheds. This project investigates the relation between rainfall intensity and peak discharge; erosion and deposition processes; and water-quality impacts to minimize the loss of life and property resulting from post-wildfire...
The banner picture shows it all — Superhighways! Streets and pavement! Driveways! House roofs! These are all "impervious surfaces"; impervious to the water from precipitation. When it rains in this locale, water no longer seeps into the ground, but now runs off into storm sewers and then quickly into local creeks. Localized flooding is too often the result.
Development of Regional Curves Relating Bankfull-Channel Geometry and Discharge to Drainage Area for Hydrophysiographic Regions in Wyoming
The Watershed Program in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Wyoming Water Science Center developed regional curves that relate bankfull channel dimensions and discharge to drainage area for hydrophysiographic regions in Wyoming where data are currently lacking. Regional curves are useful aids for estimating bankfull discharge and related channel dimensions at ungaged sites,...
Clifford Voss was selected as the 2015 Birdsall-Dreiss Distinguished Lecturer by the Geological Society of America. Cliff, an internationally recognized expert in groundwater modeling, has over 35 years of project management, implementation, field work and research experience in groundwater systems. Upon request, Cliff will present general-audience lectures on groundwater or ground ice/...
Expertise in large river research provides science information to inform decisions on river management and restoration in the Midwest Region. Connectivity is a fundamental concept in river ecology and refers to opportunities for water to flow along and through riverine ecosystems. It is considered one of the primary drivers of river productivity, biological diversity and ecosystem health.
In cooperation with the Wyoming State Engineer, the USGS conducted a study of the water resources of Sweetwater County, Wyoming. This study followed the general plan of previous "County Studies". Surface water and ground water resources were evaluated through a combined approach that analyzed and summarized existing data and, as a consequence of the data analysis, identified key data gaps and...
Streamflow Statistics for Unregulated and Regulated Conditions for Selected Locations on the Yellowstone, Tongue, Powder, and Bighorn Rivers, Montana
Major floods in 1996-1997 on the Yellowstone River intensified public debate over the effects of human activities on the Yellowstone River. The Yellowstone River Conservation District Council partnered with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a cumulative-effects study on the Yellowstone. For that study, the USGS calculated streamflow statistics for unregulated (no development) and...
For over three decades, the USGS has maintained a program of research and observation in San Francisco Bay, including regular measurements of water quality along a 145-kilometer transect spanning the length of the entire estuarine system from the South San Francisco Bay to the Sacramento River.
The USGS collects, analyzes, and distributes data on a wide variety of water-related issues and resources. Much of our data is publicly available through the National Water Information System (NWIS), but additional datasets and analytical tools are also available.Access NWISWeb
Interactive access to coastal change science and data for our Nation’s coasts. Information and products are organized within three coastal change hazard themes: 1) extreme storms, 2) shoreline change, and 3) sea-level rise. Each data item represents an individual research product, with some items grouped together as aggregates to show the breadth of the topic and make it easy to explore.
Percentage of sandy beaches very likely (probability > 0.9) to experience erosion associated with collision, overwash, and inundation during category 1-5 hurricane landfall.
Obique photos offer a unique perspective of the coast. Features such as beach erosion or accretion, dune erosion and overwash can all be clearly characterized in this imagery. It also documents coastal infrastructure, as well as the damage that infrastructure may incur as the result of an impacting hurricane.
Total water level (TWL) at the shoreline is the combination of tides, surge, and wave runup. A forecast of TWL is an estimate of the elevation where the ocean will meet the coast and can provide guidance on potential coastal erosion and flooding hazards.
SWaTH is a system of flood-hardened, real-time telemetered tide gages, rapid deployment gages, and storm tide sensors deployed in integrated network configurations along the Northeastern Atlantic Coast from North Carolina to Maine.
USGS Flood Inundation Maps , along with Internet information regarding current stage from the USGS streamgage, provide emergency management personnel and residents with information that is critical for flood-response activities, such as evacuations and road closures, as well as for post-flood recovery efforts.
This tool produces shapefiles that contain the delineated basins, basin characteristics, and flow statistics for multiple sites requested at once by users. Before this tool can be used, the the points of interest will likely need to be edited in GIS so that they are coincident with the stream grid used by StreamStats for delineations and saved to a shapefile.
The USGS investigates the occurrence, quantity, quality, distribution, and movement of surface and underground waters. NWIS provides access to real-time and historical water-resources data collected at approximately 1.9 million sites in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
Maximum likelihood logistic regression is used to estimate drought probabilities for selected Virginia rivers and streams. Hydrologic drought streamflow probabilities for summer months are provided as functions of streamflows during the previous winter months. This application allows the display and query of these drought streamflow probabilities for Virginia streams.
Models of the Klamath River from Link River to Keno Dam were constructed and calibrated by the U.S. Geological Survey for calendar years 2006-09.
Downloadable spatial data files for exploration and analysis.
The clickable sites, Water Resources Conditions List, and Data Table at the bottom of the map are all connected. Interacting with any of them will activate pop-ups and display the site in both the Map, List and Table.
This interactive map shows current and cumulative rainfall total for precipitation sites in Virginia. Map provides real-time precipitation radar image to overlay from National Weather Service.
Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC) threaten the reproductive success and long-term survival of sensitive aquatic populations in the U.S. National Park Service (NPS). The project employs a standardized EDC risk assessment framework to link new and ongoing research efforts in individual Parks and in Park Monitoring Networks, in order to provide a service-wide assessment of EDC risk in the NPS.
River and Coastal Forecast Information
Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center, Slidell, Louisiana—(NWS)
Status of Groundwater-Level Altitudes and Long-term Groundwater-Level Changes in the Chicot, Evangeline, and Jasper Aquifers, Houston-Galveston Region, Texas, 2018
Since the early 1900s, most of the groundwater withdrawals in the Houston-Galveston region, Texas, have been from the three primary aquifers that compose the Gulf Coast aquifer system—the Chicot, Evangeline, and Jasper aquifers. Withdrawals from these aquifers are used for municipal supply, industrial, and irrigation purposes. This report,...Shah, Sachin D.; Ramage, Jason K.; Braun, Christopher L.
Stream‐centric methods for determining groundwater contributions in karst mountain watersheds
Climate change influences on mountain hydrology are uncertain, but likely to be mediated through changes in subsurface hydrologic residence times and flowpaths. The heterogeneity of karst aquifers add complexity in assessing the resiliency of these water sources to perturbation, suggesting a clear need to quantify contributions from and losses to...Neilson, Bethany; Tennant, Hyrum; Barnes, Michelle; Stout, Trinity; Miller, Matthew P.; Gabor, Rachel S.; Jameel, Yusef; Millington, Mallory; Gelderloos, Andrew; Bowen, Gabriel J.; Brooks, Paul D.
Effect of spatial and temporal scale on simulated groundwater recharge investigations
Hydrologic model input datasets such as climate, land use, elevation, soil, and geology information are available in a range of scales for use in water resources investigations. Smaller spatial and temporal scale input data allow groundwater recharge models to simulate more physically realistic processes and presumably result in more accurate...Tillman, Fred; Pruitt, Tom; Gangopadhyay, Subhrendu
Mercury methylation and bioaccumulation in Sinclair Inlet, Kitsap County, Washington
The U.S. Geological Survey evaluated the transformation of mercury to bioavailable methylmercury in Sinclair Inlet, Kitsap County, Washington, and assessed the effect of the transformation processes on the mercury burden in marine organisms and sediment. In August 2008, samples of sediment, water, and biota from six sites in Sinclair Inlet and...Paulson, A.J.; Marvin-DiPasquale, M.C.; Moran, P.W.; DeWild, J.F.; Stewart, J.F.; Toft, J.; Agee, J.L.; Kakouros, E.; Kieu, L.H.; Carter, B.; Sheibley, R.W.; Cordell, J.; Krabbenhoft, D. P.
Evaluation of the effects of changes in the timing of water-level drawdowns on the export of phosphorus from Little St. Germain Lake, Wisconsin
Little St. Germain Lake is a 978-acre, multibasin lake in Vilas County, Wisconsin. In the interest of improving its water quality, the Little St. Germain Lake Protection and Rehabilitation District initiated a cooperative study with the U.S. Geological Survey to describe the current phosphorus input into and export from Little St. Germain Lake and...Dantoin, Eric D.; Robertson, Dale M.
Manure and fertilizer inputs to land in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, 1950–2012
Understanding changing nutrient concentrations in surface waters requires quantitative information on changing nutrient sources in contributing watersheds. For example, the proportion of nutrient inputs reaching streams and rivers is directly affected by when and where those nutrients enter the landscape. The goal of this report is to contribute...Keisman, Jennifer L.D.; Devereux, Olivia H.; LaMotte, Andrew E.; Sekellick, Andrew J.; Blomquist, Joel D.
Variations on a method for evaluating decadal-scale changes in the groundwater quality of two GAMA coastal study units 2004–14, California GAMA Priority Basin Project
Decadal changes in groundwater quality in two study units on the north-central California coast were evaluated by the Priority Basin Project (PBP) of the Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment (GAMA) Program. Groundwater samples collected from wells during 2004–05 were compared on a pair-wise basis to samples collected from the same wells...Kent, Robert
Assessment of water resources in areas that affect the habitat of the endangered Hine’s emerald dragonfly in the Lower Des Plaines River Valley, Illinois
Review of previous investigations indicates that potential decreases in groundwater recharge and increased groundwater extraction in the vicinity of the Lower Des Plaines River Valley in Will County, Illinois, may reduce the amount of groundwater flow in the Silurian aquifer in this area. Groundwater discharge from the Silurian aquifer to wetlands...Kay, Robert T.; Gahala, Amy M.; Bailey, Clinton
Mechanisms of earthquake‐induced chemical and fluid transport to carbonate groundwater springs after earthquakes
Mechanisms by which hydrochemical changes occur after earthquakes are not well documented. We use the 2016–2017 central Italy seismic sequence, which caused notable hydrochemical transient variations in groundwater springs to address this topic, with special reference to effects on fractured carbonate aquifers. Hydrochemistry measured before and...Rosen, Michael R.; Binda, Gilberto; Archer, Claire; Pozzi, Andrea; Michetti, Alessandro; Noble, Paula
Brackish groundwater and its potential as a resource in the southwestern United States
Secure, reliable, and sustainable water resources are fundamental to food production, energy independence, and the health of humans and ecosystems. But the large-scale development of fresh groundwater resources has stressed aquifers in some areas, causing declines in the amount of groundwater in storage and decreases in discharge to surface-water...Anning, David W.; Beisner, Kimberly R.; Paul, Angela P.; Stanton, Jennifer S.; Thiros, Susan A.
Tritium deposition in precipitation in the United States, 1953–2012
Tritium is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen (half-life is equal to 12.32 years). Since it is part of the water molecule, tritium can be used to track and date groundwater and surface water when the history of tritium in precipitation and recharge is known. To facilitate that effort, tritium concentrations in precipitation were reconstructed from...Michel, Robert L.; Jurgens, Bryant C.; Young, Megan B.
Simulation of zones of groundwater contribution to wells south of the Naval Weapons Industrial Reserve Plant in Bethpage, New York
A steady-state three-dimensional groundwater-flow model that simulates present conditions was coupled with the particle-tracking program MODPATH to delineate zones of contribution to wells pumping from the Magothy aquifer near a chlorinated volatile organic compound (VOC) plume. This modeling was part of a study by the U.S. Geological Survey in...Misut, Paul E.
Software and related material (data and documentation) are made available by the USGS to be used in the public interest and the advancement of science.
iRIC (International River Interface Cooperative) is a river flow and riverbed variation analysis software package which combines the functionality of MD_SWMS (Multi-Dimensional Surface-Water Modeling System), developed by the USGS, and RIC-Nays, developed by the Foundation of Hokkaido River Disaster Prevention Research Center.
The Water, Energy, and Biogeochemical Model (WEBMOD) uses the framework of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Modular Modeling System (MMS) to simulate fluxes of water and solutes through watersheds. WEBMOD divides watersheds into model response units (MRU) where fluxes and reactions are simulated for several hillslope reservoir types.
What’s New: A new version of the SPARROW code is being developed in the R programming language. The advantage of R is that it is non-proprietary and does not require a license or software cost. The R – SPARROW code is now being completed and should be available early in CY18. Stay Tuned.
SELDM is a database application where users can easily create and run highway-runoff simulations. SELDM simulates storm flows, concentrations, and loads. SELDM calculates the risk of exceeding water-quality criteria with and without user-defined BMPs. SELDM calculates annual runoff loads and is able to do a simple annual lake-loading analysis.
CE-QUAL-W2 is a water quality and hydrodynamic model in 2D (longitudinal-vertical) for rivers, estuaries, lakes, reservoirs and river basin systems. W2 models basic eutrophication processes such as temperature-nutrient-algae-dissolved oxygen-organic matter and sediment relationships.
GCLAS is a program designed primarily to compute daily and annual loadings of constituents transported in streamflow.
MODFLOW-USG model of groundwater flow in the Wood River Valley aquifer system in Blaine County, Idaho
Model archive for Wood River Valley groundwater-flow model
The R package wrv is for processing the groundwater-flow model of the Wood River Valley (WRV) aquifer system, south-central Idaho. The groundwater-flow model is described in the associated model report and model archive. Included in the package is MODFLOW-USG version 1.3, a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) computer code that solves the groundwater-flow equation.
In 1977, the Congress of the United States recognized the need for uniform, current, and reliable information on water use and directed the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to establish a National Water-Use Information Program (NWUIP) to complement the Survey's data on the availability and quality of the Nations water resources.
The USGS Groundwater Age Mixtures and Contaminant Trends Tool (GAMACTT) can be used to explore the effects of basic aquifer properties and well configurations on groundwater age mixtures in groundwater discharge and on contaminant trends from varying nonpoint-source contaminant input scenarios.
The USGS produces many types of multimedia products. Use the links below to browse our offerings of photograph galleries, podcasts and sound files, videos, aerial photos, and posters related to water. The USGS Newsroom has a Web page that highlights the main collection of multimedia products.
Reston Microbiology Laboratory (RML) Science Venn Diagram
Cross section of deposited sediment in the Grand Canyon, AZ
A valley in the Grand Canyon, AZ
Post-Harvey Report Provides Inundation Maps and Flood Details on “Largest Rainfall Event Recorded in US History”
Nineteen inundation maps and detailed flood information from Hurricane Harvey are now available from the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Hurricane Harvey was the most significant rainfall event in U.S. history, both in scope and peak rainfall amounts, since records began in the 1880s.
This Thursday, scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey and NASA will test new technologies near Parkdale, Colorado, located west of Cañon City, to better understand how unmanned aerial systems (UAS), or drones, may be used to measure water depth, water levels and velocity from the sky.
No one has a crystal ball to foresee what will happen during the 2018 hurricane season that begins June 1, but NOAA forecasters say there’s a 75 percent chance this hurricane season will be at least as busy as a normal year, or busier.
New research has revealed significant changes to Alaska’s landscape in recent decades
Real-time water-quality, streamflow and water height information for Lake Houston and the surrounding San Jacinto watershed are now available from a new web application from the U.S. Geological Survey, done in cooperation with the City of Houston.
Media and the public are invited to attend a free meeting about South Dakota water issues on Thursday, April 19, in Rapid City, South Dakota.
Bear Lake will house water quality and weather monitoring equipment that will provide near real-time information to the public and water managers beginning in early April and continuing through 2022.
Flooding is the leading cause of Presidential disaster declarations. On average, the water hazard has resulted in more than 80 fatalities and cost the U.S. nearly $8 billion annually.
Data Will Provide a “Snapshot” of the Eastern Snake River Plain Aquifer
Crews from the U.S. Geological Survey have been in the field for weeks measuring flooding in the Midwest and in the Mississippi River watershed, and more recently flooding and storm tides on the Northern Atlantic coast, as higher temperatures, heavy rain, snowmelt and nor’easters affected numerous states.
Instead of requiring costly dredging to remove sediment buildup behind water reservoirs and diversions, sediment from reservoirs in the Missouri River Basin could actually be used as fracking proppant feedstock, also known as frac sand, according to a recently published U.S. Geological Survey study.