Mission Areas L2 Landing Page Tabs
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
To meet National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting requirements, the City of Boise will be responsible for collecting fish tissue samples for mercury analysis upstream of and downstream of their wastewater treatment facilities discharging to the lower Boise and Snake Rivers.
Mercury is a naturally occurring element that ultimately makes its...
in partnership with the Idaho Department of Water Resources (IDWR) and Idaho Water Resource Board (IWRB), we will construct a numerical groundwater-flow model of the Treasure Valley and surrounding area. Resource managers will use the model to simulate potential anthropogenic and climatic effects on groundwater for water-supply planning and management. As part of model...
Blaine County’s population nearly quadrupled from about 5,700 to 22,000 people between 1970 and 2010. Residents and resource managers of the Wood River Valley of south-central Idaho are concerned about the potential effects that population growth and the expected increased demand for water might have on the quantity and quality of the valley’s ground and surface waters....
In 1999, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) listed the bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) as a threatened species. In 2010, the FWS designated critical habitat for the bull trout, including the upper Boise River basin. The Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) operates three reservoirs on the upper Boise River for irrigation and flood control. Reclamation and FWS...
Several river segments in the Owyhee Canyonlands Wilderness have been designated as “Wild and Scenic” under the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009. This designation is intended to protect the “outstanding remarkable values” (ORVs) in this area—specifically fish and wildlife habitat, scenic and geological features, and recreational opportunities.
There is mounting evidence that microplastics present a significant threat to aquatic organisms. Microplastics – defined as plastic particles less than 5 mm in diameter – come from many different sources, including synthetic textiles, industrial waste products, personal care products, and the breakdown of litter, car tires, and other objects. This study will assess the...
The Hells Canyon Complex is a hydroelectric project consisting of three dams located on the Snake River along the Oregon and Idaho border. Elevated concentrations of mercury and methylmercury in the water column, bottom sediments, and biota in this reach have resulted in two of the reservoirs, Brownlee and Hells Canyon, being listed as impaired for mercury by the state of...
Mining of stibnite (antimony sulfide), tungsten, gold, silver, and mercury near the town of Stibnite in central Idaho has left a legacy of trace element contamination in the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River (EFSFSR) and its tributaries. Concentrations of arsenic, antimony, and mercury frequently exceed human health criteria and may impact threatened or...
Check out the USGS Water Science School.
The southern Chesapeake Bay region is experiencing land subsidence along with rising sea levels, both of which can contribute to coastal flooding. The rates at which these two processes are occurring are not exactly known. Mapping of land elevation change requires ground-truth survey data at multiple locations that are accurate and precise. With the exception of a few CORS sites that have...
Links to Sources of Water Information
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) investigates the occurrence, quantity, quality, distribution, and movement of surface and underground waters and disseminates the data to the public, State and local governments, public and private utilities, and other Federal agencies involved with managing water resources
The map to the left allows you to...
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 Water Quality Portal integrates and provides access to publicly available water-quality data from databases such as USGS NWIS and BioData, EPA STORET, and USDA-ARS STEWARDS through a single search interface.
The NGWMN Data Portal provides access to groundwater data from multiple, dispersed databases in a web-based mapping application. The Portal contains current and historical data including water levels, water quality, lithology, and well construction.
Digital dataset of surface topology for the Scoggins Creek watershed.
Spatial/GIS data sets for Alabama are available numerous spatial data clearinghouses. Spatial/GIS data sets for USGS studies that include Alabama or include parts of Alabama are also available from USGS.
Downloadable GIS Datasets, OGB GIS Datasets, Digital Raster Graphics (DRG), 1:24000 DRG, 1:100000 DRG, 1:250000 DRG, Hazards GIS Data, Hazards Data Water GIS Data, HUC 11 Watersheds
Downloadable spatial data files for exploration and analysis.
The goals of the NAWQA program are being achieved through ongoing or planned investigations of 59 of the Nation's most important river and aquifer systems, which are referred to as study units. These study units were selected to represent the diverse geography, water resources, and land and water uses of the Nation. The Mobile River Basin is one such study unit, designed to supplement water.
Evidence of coupled carbon and iron cycling at a hydrocarbon-contaminated site from time lapse magnetic susceptibility
Conventional characterization and monitoring of hydrocarbon (HC) pollution is often expensive and time-consuming. Magnetic susceptibility (MS) has been proposed as an inexpensive, long-term monitoring proxy of the degradation of HC. We acquired repeated down hole MS logging data in boreholes at a HC-contaminated field research site in Bemidji, MN...Lund, Anders L.; Slater, Lee D.; Atekwana, Estella A.; Ntarlagiannis, Dimitrios; Cozzarelli, Isabelle M.; Bekins, Barbara A.
Interactive effects of deer exclusion and exotic plant removal on deciduous forest understory communities
Mammalian herbivory and exotic plant species interactions are an important ongoing research topic, due to their presumed impacts on native biodiversity. The extent to which these interactions affect forest understory plant community composition and persistence was the subject of our study. We conducted a 5-year, 2 × 2 factorial experiment in three...Bourg, Norman; McShea, William J.; Herrmann, Valentine; Stewart, Chad M.
The fascinating and complex dynamics of geyser eruptions
Geysers episodically erupt liquid and vapor. Despite two centuries of scientific study, basic questions persist—why do geysers exist? What determines eruption intervals, durations, and heights? What initiates eruptions? Through monitoring eruption intervals, analyzing geophysical data, taking measurements within geyser conduits, performing...Hurwitz, Shaul; Manga, Michael
Detection of diazotrophy in the acetylene-fermenting anaerobe Pelobacter sp. strain SFB93
Acetylene (C2H2) is a trace constituent of the present Earth's oxidizing atmosphere, reflecting a mixture of terrestrial and marine emissions from anthropogenic, biomass-burning, and unidentified biogenic sources. Fermentation of acetylene was serendipitously discovered during C2H2 block assays of N2O reductase, and Pelobacter acetylenicus was...Akob, Denise M.; Baesman, Shaun; Sutton, John M.; Fierst, Janna L.; Mumford, Adam; Shrestha, Yesha; Poret-Peterson, Amisha T.; Bennett, Stacy; Dunlap, Darren S.; Haase, Karl B.; Oremland, Ronald S.
Climate scenarios for the Truckee-Carson River system
In this study, the scenarios ultimately take the form of gridded, daily (maximum and minimum) temperatures and precipitation totals spanning the entire Truckee-Carson River System, from which meteorological inputs to various hydrologic, water-balance and watermanagement models can be extracted by other parts of the Water for the Seasons project...Dettinger, Michael; Sterle, Kelley; Simpson, Karen; Singletary, Loretta; Fitzgerald, Kelsey; McCarthy, Maureen
Autotrophic microbial arsenotrophy in arsenic-rich soda lakes
A number of prokaryotes are capable of employing arsenic oxy-anions as either electron acceptors [arsenate; As(V)] or electron donors [arsenite; As(III)] to sustain arsenic-dependent growth (‘arsenotrophy’). A subset of these microorganisms function as either chemoautotrophs or photoautotrophs, whereby they gain sufficient energy from their redox...Oremland, Ronald S.; Saltikov, Chad W.; Stolz, John F.; Hollibaugh, James T.
Water quality measurements in San Francisco Bay by the U.S. Geological Survey, 1969–2015
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) maintains a place-based research program in San Francisco Bay (USA) that began in 1969 and continues, providing one of the longest records of water-quality measurements in a North American estuary. Constituents include salinity, temperature, light extinction coefficient, and concentrations of chlorophyll-a,...Schraga, Tara; Cloern, James E.
Managed aquifer recharge through off-season irrigation in agricultural regions
Options for increasing reservoir storage in developed regions are limited and prohibitively expensive. Projected increases in demand call for new long-term water storage to help sustain agriculture, municipalities, industry, and ecological services. Managed aquifer recharge (MAR) is becoming an integral component of water resources around the...Niswonger, Richard; Morway, Eric; Triana, Enrique; Huntington, Justin L.
Porosity and pore size distribution in a sedimentary rock: Implications for the distribution of chlorinated solvents
Characterizing properties of the rock matrix that control retention and release of chlorinated solvents is essential in evaluating the extent of contamination and the application of remediation technologies in fractured rock. Core samples from seven closely spaced boreholes in a mudstone subject to trichloroethene (TCE) contamination were analyzed...Shapiro, Allen M.; Evans, Chrsitopher E.; Hayes, Erin C.
Spatial and temporal variability in benthic invertebrate assemblages in Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon
Upper Klamath Lake (UKL) in southern Oregon has experienced declines in water quality due to excessive nutrient loading. This has led to annual cyanobacterial blooms, primarily of Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA). Benthic invertebrates are important food resources for benthic feeding fishes; however, they can increase autochthonous...Stauffer-Olsen, Natalie J.; Carter, James L.; Fend, Steven V.
Devils Hole, Nevada—A photographic story of a restricted subaqueous environment
This report presents selected photographic images taken by the author during U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) research into paleoclimatology and geochemistry in Devils Hole cavern during 1984 to 1993 in cooperation with the National Park Service. The unaltered suite of photographs was prepared by the USGS dive team as an aid to assist nondiving...Hoffman, Ray J.
A method for addressing differences in concentrations of fipronil and three degradates obtained by two different laboratory methods
In October 2012, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) began measuring the concentration of the pesticide fipronil and three of its degradates (desulfinylfipronil, fipronil sulfide, and fipronil sulfone) by a new laboratory method using direct aqueous-injection liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (DAI LC–MS/MS). This method replaced the...Crawford, Charles G.; Martin, Jeffrey D.
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.
Human activity, such as groundwater pumping, land management, reservoir operations and urbanization, has a measurable effect on streamflows in Kansas locally, regionally and statewide, according to a new report by the U.S. Geological Survey, done in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism.
Larger-than-average low and no oxygen area may affect the region’s shrimp fisheries
The U.S. Geological Survey has released a new report detailing changes of groundwater levels in the High Plains aquifer. The report presents water-level change data in the aquifer for two separate periods: from 1950 – the time prior to significant groundwater irrigation development – to 2015, and from 2013 to 2015.
Low- and no-oxygen area threatens crabs, oysters, fish
U.S. Geological Survey scientists will inject a harmless, bright red fluorescent dye into the auxiliary lock at Locks and Dam 14 on the Mississippi River near Pleasant Valley, Iowa, Tuesday, June 13, 2017, weather permitting. If needed, a backup date is scheduled for June 27, 2017.
The U. S. Geological Survey is poised to bring a dynamic array of science and tools to help decision-makers manage and offset effects of increased drought across the United States, according to a drought plan report released today.
Scientists work in the field before, during and after landfall to improve forecasting and recovery.
Decades or longer may be needed to fully assess the effects of unconventional oil and gas production on the quality of groundwater used for drinking water in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas
The U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is measuring streamflow and collecting nutrient and sediment samples at stream gages in the Western Lake Erie Basin in Northwest Ohio.
Budget Focuses on Core USGS Science and Efficiency
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) operates a network of real-time streamgages that continually record stage and streamflow every 15 to 60 minutes.
A new U.S. Geological Survey study has discovered high levels of radon in wells across certain areas of Pennsylvania.