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Water

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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.

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Filter Total Items: 138
Scientist services an automatic sampler, in the snow, that has been installed at the gaging station on Clear Creek in Nevada.
March 9, 2017

The Nevada Department of Transportation is concerned about how historical and ongoing development in the Clear Creek drainage basin has/is affecting Clear Creek and its sediment-transport characteristics. Clear Creek is a small alpine stream that begins near Lake Tahoe on the eastern flank of the Sierra Nevada. The USGS Nevada Water Science Center, in cooperation with the Nevada...

Coastal Change Portal Hurricane Matthew 2016
February 22, 2017

As Hurricane Matthew moves up the Atlantic coast of the U.S., the USGS South Atlantic Water Science Center (SAWSC) deployed most of the USGS Storm-Tide Network along the Atlantic coast to monitor the timing, extent, and magnitude of the storm tide during the passage of Hurricane Matthew.

• Go to the USGS Hurricane...

Making an ADCP measurement on the Bear River below Alexander Reservoir, Idaho
February 9, 2017

Surface-water information is needed for purposes of surveillance, planning, design, hazard warning, operation, and management, in water-related fields such as water supply, hydroelectric power, flood control, irrigation, bridge and culvert design, wildlife management, pollution abatement, flood-plain management, and water resources development. ...

An image of an Ephemeroptera Heptageniidae Epeorus longimanuis.
February 2, 2017

Aquatic invertebrates are a key component of freshwater ecosystems, and an understanding of aquatic invertebrate taxonomy is central to freshwater science. The U.S. Geological Survey Aquatic Experimental Lab (AXL) at the Fort Collins Science Center has developed the North American Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Digital Reference Collection (NAAMDRC) to provide users with a graphic tool to aid...

The Toxics Emerging Contaminants Project’s nation-wide effort assesses the ecological risk associated with EDC in National Parks
January 24, 2017

Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC) threaten the reproductive success and long-term survival of sensitive aquatic populations in U.S. National Parks. Understanding the ecological impacts of contaminants of emerging concern (CEC), in general, and EDC, in specific, has been identified as a U.S. National Park Service (NPS) management priority.

The project employs a standardized EDC risk...

Big Wood River at Hailey, Idaho
January 2, 2017

STATUS: Completed

Wood River Valley residents rely on groundwater for domestic supply, either from domestic or municipal-supply wells. The rapid population growth since the 1970s has caused concern about the long-term sustainability of the groundwater resource.

Stalker Creek, Idaho, in summer
January 1, 2017

STATUS: Completed

Nutrient enrichment can affect the ecological health of a stream. For example, excessive aquatic plant growth caused by increased nutrients can reduce dissolved oxygen necessary for other aquatic life. Topics of particular interest in this study area include:

seasonal patterns among nutrients, flows, algae and plants in streams

rooted aquatic plant vs....

Debris flow as result of 2013 Beaver Creek Fire, Idaho
January 1, 2017

STATUS: Completed

In August 2013, the Beaver Creek wildfire burned more than 100,000 acres of public and private land northwest of Hailey, Idaho. According to the U.S. Forest Service, about 57 percent of the area is considered moderately burned, and the risk of post-fire soil erosion is high on more than 8,400 acres.

Acoustc Doppler velocity meter
January 1, 2017

STATUS: Completed

Because fluvial sediment poses both economic and ecological problems, resource managers need a safe, cost-effective way to measure sediment in streams, particularly in remote areas.

Colorized, multi-beam bathymetry showing scour hole (blue)
January 1, 2017

STATUS: Completed

Sedimentation of Lower Granite Reservoir, operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, affects commercial navigation and reservoir storage capacity. Some groups are concerned that dredging the reservoir to remove excess sediment may negatively affect endangered species such as steelhead and salmon.

USGS scientists drilling core
January 1, 2017

STATUS: Completed

Some groups are concerned that dredging the reservoir and the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater Rivers to remove excess sediment may mobilize contaminants in sediment that could negatively affect endangered species such as steelhead and salmon.

Lower Granite Reservoir near Clarkston, WA
January 1, 2017

STATUS: Completed

Are there ways to manage sediment before it accumulates in Lower Granite Reservoir? If so, resource managers must know exactly how much sediment is being transported in the lower Snake and Clearwater River basins, the grain-size distribution of the sediment that is being transported, which subbasins are contributing the most sediment, and how the sediment is being...

Filter Total Items: 1,477
Year Published: 2017

Ascii grids of predicted pH in depth zones used by domestic and public drinking water supply depths, Central Valley, California

The ascii grids associated with this data release are predicted distributions of continuous pH at the drinking water depth zones in the groundwater of Central Valley, California. The two prediction grids produced in this work represent predicted pH at the domestic supply and public supply drinking water depths, respectively and are bound by the...

Zamora, Celia; Nolan, Bernard T.; Gronberg, JoAnn M.
Attribution: Water
Celia Z. Rosecrans, 2017, Ascii grids of predicted pH in depth zones used by domestic and public drinking water supply depths, Central Valley, California: U.S. Geological Survey data release, https://doi.org/10.5066/F7FX77K4

Year Published: 2017

Predicted pH at the domestic and public supply drinking water depths, Central Valley, California

This scientific investigations map is a product of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) project modeling and mapping team. The prediction grids depicted in this map are of continuous pH and are intended to provide an understanding of groundwater-quality conditions at the domestic and public supply drinking...

Rosecrans, Celia Z.; Nolan, Bernard T.; Gronberg, Jo Ann M.
Attribution: Water
Rosecrans, C.Z., Nolan, B.T., Gronberg, J.M., 2017, Predicted pH at the domestic and public supply drinking water depths, Central Valley, California: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3377, 1 sheet, scale 1:2,400,000, https://doi.org/10.3133/sim3377.

Year Published: 2017

Prediction and visualization of redox conditions in the groundwater of Central Valley, California

Regional-scale, three-dimensional continuous probability models, were constructed for aspects of redox conditions in the groundwater system of the Central Valley, California. These models yield grids depicting the probability that groundwater in a particular location will have dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations less than selected threshold...

Rosecrans, Celia Z.; Nolan, Bernard T.; Gronberg, JoAnn M.
Attribution: Water
Rosecrans, C.Z., Nolan, B.T., Gronberg J.M., 2017. Prediction and Visualization of Redox Conditions in the Groundwater of Central Valley, California. Journal of Hydrology, v. 546 (March), p. 341-356. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2017.01.014

Year Published: 2017

Volcanic ash supports a diverse bacterial community in a marine mesocosm

Shallow-water coral reef ecosystems, particularly those already impaired by anthropogenic pressures, may be highly sensitive to disturbances from natural catastrophic events, such as volcanic eruptions. Explosive volcanic eruptions expel large quantities of silicate ash particles into the atmosphere, which can disperse across millions of square...

Verena Witt; Paul M Ayris; Damby, David; Corrado Cimarelli; Ulrich Kueppers; Donald B Dingwell; Gert Wörheide
Attribution: Water
Witt V, Ayris PM, Damby DE, et al. Volcanic ash supports a diverse bacterial community in a marine mesocosm. Geobiology 2017;00:1-11. http://doi.org/10.1111/gbi.12231

Year Published: 2017

Divergent surface and total soil moisture projections under global warming

Land aridity has been projected to increase with global warming. Such projections are mostly based on off-line aridity and drought metrics applied to climate model outputs but also are supported by climate-model projections of decreased surface soil moisture. Here we comprehensively analyze soil moisture projections from the Coupled Model...

Berg, Alexis; Sheffield, Justin; Milly, Paul C.D.
Attribution: Water
Alexis Berg, Justin Sheffield, P. C. D. Milly, 2017, Divergent surface and total soil moisture projections under global warming. Geophys. Res. Lett., 44(1), 236-244.DOI: 10.1002/2016GL071921

Year Published: 2017

Defining snow drought and why it matters

On 12 February, water resource managers at the Oroville Dam issued an evacuation warning that forced some 180,000 Californians to relocate to higher ground. The story of how conditions got to this point involves several factors, but two clearly stand out: the need to prevent water shortages during a record drought, followed by one of the wettest...

Harpold, Adrian; Dettinger, Michael; Rajagopal, Seshadri
Attribution: Water
Harpold, A. A., M. Dettinger, and S. Rajagopal (2017), Defining snow drought and why it matters, Eos, 98, http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2017EO068775

Year Published: 2017

Shifts in microbial community structure and function in surface waters impacted by unconventional oil and gas wastewater revealed by metagenomics

Unconventional oil and gas (UOG) production produces large quantities of wastewater with complex geochemistry and largely uncharacterized impacts on surface waters. In this study, we assessed shifts in microbial community structure and function in sediments and waters upstream and downstream from a UOG wastewater disposal facility. To do this,...

Fahrenfeld, N.L.; Reyes, Hannah Delos; Eramo, Alessia; Akob, Denise M.; Mumford, Adam; Cozzarelli, Isabelle M.
Attribution: Water
Fahrenfeld, N.L., H. Delos Reyes, A. Eramo, D. M. Akob, A. Mumford, and I.M. Cozzarelli. 2017. Shifts in microbial community structure and function in surface waters impacted by unconventional oil and gas wastewaters revealed by metagenomics, Science of the Total Environment, 580: 1205–1213, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.12.079.

Year Published: 2017

Environmental signatures and effects of an oil and gas wastewater spill in the Williston Basin, North Dakota

Wastewaters from oil and gas development pose largely unknown risks to environmental resources. In January 2015, 11.4 M L (million liters) of wastewater (300 g/L TDS) from oil production in the Williston Basin was reported to have leaked from a pipeline, spilling into Blacktail Creek, North Dakota. Geochemical and biological samples...

Cozzarelli, Isabelle M.; Skalak, Katherine; Kent, D.B.; Engle, Mark A.; Benthem, Adam J.; Mumford, Adam; Haase, Karl B.; Farag, Aïda M.; Harper, David; Nagel, S. C.; Iwanowicz, Luke R.; Orem, William H.; Akob, Denise M.; Jaeschke, Jeanne B.; Galloway, Joel M.; Kohler, Matthias; Stoliker, Deborah L.; Jolly, Glenn D.
Attribution: Water

Year Published: 2017

Lithological influences on contemporary and long-term regolith weathering at the Luquillo Critical Zone Observatory

Lithologic differences give rise to the differential weatherability of the Earth’s surface and globally variable silicate weathering fluxes, which provide an important negative feedback on climate over geologic timescales. To isolate the influence of lithology on weathering rates and mechanisms, we compare two nearby catchments in the Luquillo...

Buss, Heather L.; Lara, Maria Chapela; Moore, Oliver; Kurtz, Andrew C.; Schulz, Marjorie S.; White, Arthur F.
Attribution: Water

Year Published: 2017

Preferential flow, diffuse flow, and perching in an interbedded fractured-rock unsaturated zone

Layers of strong geologic contrast within the unsaturated zone can control recharge and contaminant transport to underlying aquifers. Slow diffuse flow in certain geologic layers, and rapid preferential flow in others, complicates the prediction of vertical and lateral fluxes. A simple model is presented, designed to use limited geological site...

Nimmo, John R.; Creasey, Kaitlyn M; Perkins, Kimberlie; Mirus, Benjamin B.
Attribution: Water

Year Published: 2017

Complete genome sequence of the acetylene-fermenting Pelobacter sp. strain SFB93

Acetylene fermentation is a rare metabolism that was previously reported as being unique to Pelobacter acetylenicus. Here, we report the genome sequence of Pelobacter sp. strain SFB93, an acetylene-fermenting bacterium isolated from sediments collected in San Francisco Bay, CA.

Sutton, John M.; Baesman, Shaun; Fierst, Janna L.; Poret-Peterson, Amisha T.; Oremland, Ronald S.; Dunlap, Darren S.; Akob, Denise M.
Attribution: Water

Year Published: 2017

Complete genome sequences of two acetylene-fermenting Pelobacter acetylenicus strains

Acetylene fermentation is a rare metabolism that was serendipitously discovered during C2H2-block assays of N2O reductase. Here, we report the genome sequences of two type strains of acetylene-fermenting Pelobacter acetylenicus, the freshwater bacterium DSM 3246 and the estuarine bacterium DSM 3247.

Sutton, John M.; Baesman, Shaun; Fierst, Janna L.; Poret-Peterson, Amisha T.; Oremland, Ronald S.; Dunlap, Darren S.; Akob, Denise M.
Attribution: Water

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.

Filter Total Items: 801
A USGS scientist wearing a PFD measures flooding on the Guadalupe River
August 30, 2017
USGS scientist Alec MacDonald takes flood measurements on the Guadalupe River in Victoria, Texas.
Image shows flooding around a streamgage at Addicks Reservoir
August 29, 2017
USGS field crew measure reservoir water-level data at Addicks Reservoir, which are critical for helping the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers make informed reservoir operation decisions.
Image shows a USGS scientist in a PFD servicing a streamgage
August 29, 2017
USGS scientist Tom Pistillo services the streamgage at Addicks Reservoir to ensure that accurate reservoir water-level data are being measured, which are critical for helping the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Harris County Flood Control District make informed reservoir operation decisions.
Image shows flooding at a streamgage site on Addicks Reservoir
August 29, 2017
USGS field crew measure reservoir water-level data at Addicks Reservoir, which are critical for helping the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers make informed reservoir operation decisions.
Image shows a USGS scientist in a PFD servicing a streamgage
August 29, 2017
USGS scientist Tom Pistillo wades through the waters of Barker Reservoir to ensure accurate reservoir water-level data are being measured, which are critical for helping the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Harris County Flood Control District make informed reservoir operation decisions.
Image shows USGS scientists planning Hurricane Harvey response efforts
August 28, 2017
Planning meeting at the USGS Gulf Coast Office.
Image shows a police car in a flooded roadway in Texas
August 27, 2017
USGS field crews made multiple record high flood measurements on Aug. 27, including downstream of Addicks and Barker dam. Flood measurements near Addicks and Barker dam are critical for making public safety decisions, as 1.2 million people live downstream. USGS hydrologic technicians Eric Boeding and Robert Ellis measured the height and speed of floodwaters at the USGS streamgage site at Buffalo...
USGS scientist Jeff East is monitoring streamflow and flooding from Hurricane Harvey.
August 26, 2017
In addition to staff that conduct field measurements of flooding conditions, others monitor information indoors. Here, USGS scientist Jeff East is monitoring streamflow and flooding from Hurricane Harvey.
Image shows two USGS scientists looking at a computer screen in a truck
August 26, 2017
USGS scientists Vidal Mendoza and Brian Petri take flood measurements at Fifteenmile Creek near Weser, Texas on August 26. The crew used a power measurement technique, since acoustic measurements will not work due to a large amount of sediment and vegetation in the floodwaters. Photo by Mark Schroeder, USGS.
A streamgage near a bridge cross over a river.
August 26, 2017
Photo of a USGS streamgage on the west side of Houston during Hurricane Harvey. Find more information from this site information here: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?site_no=08072680
USGS scientist Matthew Barnes makes the highest streamflow measurement ever recorded at Eagle Ferry Rd near Anahuac, Texas.
August 26, 2017
USGS scientist Matthew Barnes makes the highest streamflow measurement ever recorded at Eagle Ferry Rd near Anahuac, Texas. Find more information from this site information here: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?site_no=08042558
Scientist taking a photo.
August 26, 2017
USGS scientist Mackenzie Mullins takes flood measurements at Berry Bayou in Houston, Texas.
Filter Total Items: 344
Image: Harmful Algal Blooms
March 31, 2017

Two decades of harmful algal bloom, nutrient and sediment research by the U.S. Geological Survey is helping to support Wichita’s long-term vision of a sustainable water supply into the future. Early warning indicators of harmful algal blooms have been developed for Cheney Reservoir, Kansas, according to a new USGS publication done in cooperation with the City of Wichita, Kansas.

Image: Redwater River, South Dakota
March 27, 2017

Media and the public are invited to attend a free meeting about South Dakota water issues on Thursday, April 6, in Rapid City, South Dakota. 

Santa Cruz River
March 27, 2017

Desert communities throughout the Southwest are putting water availability at the top of their municipal agendas.

Lake Mead
March 15, 2017

The Colorado River system provides about 35 million Americans with a portion of their water supply. It irrigates 5½ million acres of land in the West and provides water to tribes, parks, and wildlife. The system serves parts of seven States and Mexico—but reservoir levels have crept lower over the past several years, sparking questions about how much water remains and who will have access.

Chinook Salmon
March 13, 2017

The water in the Delta arrives primarily from the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers, supplying water for more than 22 million people. This water source supports California’s trillion-dollar economy—the sixth largest in the world—and its $27 billion agricultural industry.

Image: Oklahoma Groundwater Efforts
March 9, 2017

Groundwater, which flows out of sight through aquifers beneath our feet, is one of the Nation’s most important natural resources. In recognition of National Groundwater Awareness Week, March 5–11, 2017, here’s an opportunity to put your knowledge of this vital resource to the test!

mount hood
March 8, 2017

Our lunchtime "brownbag" seminars are held Tuesdays from 12pm to 1 pm PT. The science lectures are held at the USGS Oregon Water Science Center at 2130 SW 5th Avenue in Portland, OR. The presentations are informal and are open to the public. Please, bring your lunch.

USGS: Science for a changing world
March 8, 2017

In order to provide long-term storage of diverted surface water from the Rio Grande as part of the Aamodt water rights settlement, managed aquifer recharge by surface infiltration in Pojoaque River Basin arroyos was proposed as an option.

Pie Diagram for Sulfur Showing Standard and Conventional Atomic Weight
March 7, 2017

The new table includes both standard and conventional atomic weights values to clarify that many atomic weights have natural variation and to provide single values for chemical education use

Stream in the Midwest Corn Belt Region
March 6, 2017

Nitrogen and phosphorus are essential nutrients—yet too much of a good thing is not always a good thing. Scientists are investigating nutrient pollution down the Mississippi River.

Farms, forests and rolling hills in Lycoming County, PA
March 6, 2017

Tests of 75 private drinking water wells in Lycoming County, in north-central Pennsylvania, found water from most of the sampled wells contained concentrations of radon that exceeded a proposed, nonbinding health standard for drinking water. Smaller percentages of the wells contained concentrations of arsenic or methane that exceed existing drinking water standards.

River with blue reflection, in late summer, leaves just starting to turn from green to gold.
March 2, 2017

Human and bovine, or cattle, viruses were detected in a small percentage of some Great Lakes Basin streams, with human viruses more prevalent in urban streams and bovine viruses more common in streams in agricultural areas, according to a recent U.S. Geological Survey-led study.