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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
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,...
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...
With the ever-increasing rate of utilization of and competition for water (particularly during periods of drought) accurate, current water-use information is of considerable value. This is particularly so in determining future water availability in hydrologically critical areas and for making sound resource-management decisions. For the Oregon Water Science Center, a viable water-use data-...
SPARROW Model Assessments of Nutrients and Suspended Sediment in the Pacific Northwest and California
SPARROW can be used to relate water-quality data to landscape characteristics, such as natural properties and human activities
The Malheur National Wildlife Refuge provides habitat for a variety of highly valued ecosystem services, including shorebirds, waterfowl, and a diversity of other wildlife species.
USGS research directly helps local public agencies that are responsible for the design and maintenance of the levees that surround the northern Portland metropolitan area with the goal of protecting life and property in the event of flooding from the Columbia and Willamette Rivers that surround the city.
"Determining water availability in the Upper Klamath Basin has always had a degree of uncertainty as a result of the complex hydrology and geology in the region and limited streamflow data."
Evaluating Spring Vulnerability to Climate Change on BLM Priority Management Areas in Southeastern Oregon
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
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.
Suspended-sediment concentration data from National Real-Time Water Quality (NRTWQ) website.
The USGS Flood Inundation Mapping Program has two main functions: 1) partner with local communities to assist with the development and validation of flood inundation map libraries; and 2) provide online access to flood inundation maps along with real-time streamflow data, flood forecasts, and potential loss estimates.
Data from an Analysis of Dissolved Organic Matter in the Upper Klamath River, Lost River, and Klamath Straits Drain, Oregon and California, 2013–16
Goldman, J.H., 2017, Data from an analysis of dissolved organic matter in the Upper Klamath River, Lost River, and Klamath Straits Drain, Oregon and California, 2013–16: U.S. Geological Survey data release,...
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)
Water-table and potentiometric-surface altitudes in the upper glacial, Magothy, and Lloyd aquifers of Long Island, New York, April–May 2016
The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with State and local agencies, systematically collects groundwater data at varying measurement frequencies to monitor the hydrologic conditions on Long Island, New York. Each year during April and May, the U.S. Geological Survey completes a synoptic survey of water levels to define the spatial...Como, Michael D.; Finkelstein, Jason S.; Rivera, Simonette L.; Monti, Jack; Busciolano, Ronald J.
Agriculture — A river runs through it — The connections between agriculture and water quality
Sustaining the quality of the Nation’s water resources and the health of our diverse ecosystems depends on the availability of sound water-resources data and information to develop effective, science-based policies. Effective management of water resources also brings more certainty and efficiency to important economic sectors. Taken together,...Capel, Paul D.; McCarthy, Kathleen A.; Coupe, Richard H.; Grey, Katia M.; Amenumey, Sheila E.; Baker, Nancy T.; Johnson, Richard L.
Minimum energy requirements for desalination of brackish groundwater in the United States with comparison to international datasets
This paper uses chemical and physical data from a large 2017 U.S. Geological Surveygroundwater dataset with wells in the U.S. and three smaller international groundwater datasets with wells primarily in Australia and Spain to carry out a comprehensive investigation of brackish groundwater composition in relation to minimum ...Ahdab, Yvana D.; Thiel, Gregory P.; Böhlke, John Karl; Stanton, Jennifer S.; Lienhard, John H.
Understanding the influence of nutrients on stream ecosystems in agricultural landscapes
Sustaining the quality of the Nation’s water resources and the health of our diverse ecosystems depends on the availability of sound water-resources data and information to develop effective, science-based policies. Effective management of water resources also brings more certainty and efficiency to important economic sectors. Taken together,...Munn, Mark D.; Frey, Jeffrey W.; Tesoriero, Anthony J.; Black, Robert W.; Duff, John H.; Lee, Kathy E.; Maret, Terry R.; Mebane, Christopher A.; Waite, Ian R.; Zelt, Ronald B.
Sediment accretion and carbon storage in constructed wetlands receiving water treated with metal-based coagulants
In many regions of the world, subsidence of organic rich soils threatens levee stability and freshwater supply, and continued oxidative loss of organic matter contributes to greenhouse gas production. To counter subsidence in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta of northern California, we examined the feasibility of using constructed wetlands...Stumpner, Elizabeth; Kraus, Tamara; Liang, Yan; Bachand, Sandra M.; Horwath, William R.; Bachand, Philip A.M.
A preliminary study of variation of Trapa in Japan
SummaryFrequent occurrence of intermediate forms and poor knowledge on the variability of characters have caused some difficulties in the taxonomy of Trapa in Japan. Thus I made a preliminary analysis on the variation of nuts collected from 21 populations in Southwestern Japan. Attention was paid to some morphometrical characters of the nut and...Rybicki, Nancy B.; Lai, Vincent; Kadono, Yasuro
Conceptual framework and trend analysis of water-level responses to hydrologic stresses, Pahute Mesa–Oasis Valley groundwater basin, Nevada, 1966-2016
This report identifies water-level trends in wells and provides a conceptual framework that explains the hydrologic stresses and factors causing the trends in the Pahute Mesa–Oasis Valley (PMOV) groundwater basin, southern Nevada. Water levels in 79 wells were analyzed for trends between 1966 and 2016. The magnitude and duration of water-level...Jackson, Tracie R.; Fenelon, Joseph M.
Managing salinity in Upper Colorado River Basin streams: Selecting catchments for sediment control efforts using watershed characteristics and random forests models
Elevated concentrations of dissolved-solids (salinity) including calcium, sodium, sulfate, and chloride, among others, in the Colorado River cause substantial problems for its water users. Previous efforts to reduce dissolved solids in upper Colorado River basin (UCRB) streams often focused on reducing suspended-sediment transport to streams, but...Tillman, Fred; Anning, David W.; Heilman, Julian A.; Buto, Susan G.; Miller, Matthew P.
Rio Grande transboundary integrated hydrologic model and water-availability analysis, New Mexico and Texas, United States, and Northern Chihuahua, Mexico
Changes in population, agricultural development and practices (including shifts to more water-intensive crops), and climate variability are increasing demands on available water resources, particularly groundwater, in one of the most productive agricultural regions in the Southwest—the Rincon and Mesilla Valley parts of Rio Grande Valley, Doña Ana...Hanson, Randall T.; Ritchie, Andre; Boyce, Scott E.; Ferguson, Ian; Galanter, Amy; Flint, Lorraine E.; Henson, Wesley
Groundwater quality in the shallow aquifers of the Monterey Bay, Salinas Valley, and adjacent highland areas, California
The Monterey-Salinas Shallow Aquifer study unit covers approximately 7,820 square kilometers (km2) in Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Luis Obispo Counties in the Central Coast Hydrologic Region of California. The study unit was divided into four study areas—Santa Cruz, Pajaro Valley, Salinas Valley, and Highlands. More than 75 percent of the water...Burton, Carmen
Status and understanding of groundwater quality in the Monterey-Salinas Shallow Aquifer Study Unit, 2012–13: California GAMA Priority Basin Project
Groundwater quality in the approximately 7,820-square-kilometer (km2) Monterey-Salinas Shallow Aquifer (MS-SA) study unit was investigated from October 2012 to May 2013 as part of the second phase of the Priority Basin Project of the Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment (GAMA) Program. The study unit is in the central coast region of...Burton, Carmen; Wright, Michael
Klamath River Basin water-quality data
The Klamath River Basin stretches from the mountains and inland basins of south-central Oregon and northern California to the Pacific Ocean, spanning multiple climatic regions and encompassing a variety of ecosystems. Water quantity and water quality are important topics in the basin, because water is a critical resource for farming and municipal...Sobieszczyk, Steven; Smith, Cassandra D.; Rounds, Stewart A.; Orzol, Leonard L.
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.
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 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.
Exploration and Graphics for RivEr Trends (EGRET) is an R-package for the analysis of long-term changes in water quality and streamflow, including the water-quality method Weighted Regressions on Time, Discharge, and Season (WRTDS).
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.
Fog along the Yukon River showing a Black Spruce dominated forest in the foreground, which is prone to wildfire. Photo by Bruce Wylie, USGS
In this second installment of a two part series, The Arizona Water Science Center, in partnership with the USDA Agricultural Research Service, reviews the results of an experiment to verify remote methods that measure flood flows at the Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed. What makes this experiment unique are the super-critical runoff flumes that precisely measure discharge, which will act as...
Streamside talk about a water managers perspectives on the complexities of the Rio Grande Watershed and the history / need for runoff forecasts for downstream water users. The talk led by Dagmar Llewelly (BOR), Carolyn Donnelly (BOR), Andy Wood (UCAR), and Flaivo Lehner (UCAR) focused on how stream forecasts are developed from snow information and how the forecasts are used to make operational...
Attendees of the 86th Annual Western Snow Conference held in Albuquerque, New Mexico gather at the first streamgaging station established by the United States Geological Survey in 1889 to learn about USGS streamgaging techniques.
Staff from the New Mexico Water Science Center pose next to the "First Gaging Station" sign after hosting a technical tour of the site as part of the 86th annual Western Snow Conference.
Reston stable isotope lab RSIL Reference Powder
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.
The reliability of arsenic testing for drinking water in Minnesota depends on how and when well water samples are collected, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey and the Minnesota Department of Health study, which highlights ways to improve the accuracy of arsenic tests for private wells.
A new water-quality monitoring program, established by the U.S. Geological Survey, can provide scientists and managers with the best available data to help evaluate the health of Great Lakes ecosystems and improve water quality for recreation and commercial fishing.