Mission Areas

Water

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Information about water is fundamental to the 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, and conduct targeted research on the wide range of water resources and conditions, including streamflow, groundwater, water quality, and water use and availability.

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USGS Current Water Data for the Nation

USGS Current Water Data for the Nation

Explore current streamflow conditions for the United States.

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Water Resources Information

Explore our science by the topical areas that drive the research and projects conducted by our Programs.

Groundwater Information

Surface Water Information

Water Quality Information

Water Use Information

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News

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!

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: 80
Supplemental irrigation well in the Klamath Basin
March 22, 2017

Since the late 1990s the U.S Geological Survey has been working to characterize the regional groundwater hydrology of the Klamath Basin above Iron Gate Dam (referred to here as the upper Klamath Basin) by collecting data to help understand the state of the groundwater system and its response to external stresses, and to develop computer models to provide insights useful for water management....

snow and ice on Mohawk River at Lock 8
March 10, 2017

The Mohawk River between New York State Barge Canal Locks 7 and 8 near Schenectady, NY is susceptible to ice jams during periods of river-ice break-up. Ice jams in this reach typically form at channel constrictions, bridge piers, lock and dam structures, and sections with a reduced floodplain (Foster and others, 2011). Ice jam related flooding can result from backwater associated...

Agricultural lands in Arizona, thumbnail
March 9, 2017

Because of the predominantly semiarid to arid climate in Arizona, economic development in the State is largely influenced by access to adequate water supplies. Water demand is met by pumping ground water from aquifers or by conveying surface water through a system of reservoirs and canals. Anthropogenic water use is a significant component of the hydrologic cycle in Arizona, and accurate...

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

Water chemistry, seidiment transport, water quality, nutrients, and suspended sediment are collected on Clear Creek in Nevada as a continuation of the data collection and analyses of the Clear Creek discharge regime and associated water–quality and sediment concentrations and loads during water years 2010–12....

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...

The Water Cycle for Schools Poster
February 20, 2017

The Water Cycle for Schools

The water cycle describes how Earth's water is not only always changing forms, between liquid (rain), solid (ice), and gas (vapor), but also moving on, above, and in the Earth. This process is always happening everywhere.

Our USGS Water Science School has an in-depth...

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 the U.S. National Park Service (NPS). Understanding the ecological impacts of contaminants of emerging concern (CEC), in general, and EDC, in specific, has been identified as a NPS management priority.

The project employs a standardized EDC risk...

Image: Alaskan Glacier
November 10, 2016

Several Research areas are listed and their contacts regarding Glacial Aquifer System Groundwater Availability Study are available here.

 

<- Back to main Glacial Aquifer System Groundwater...

Great Sand Dunes National Park.
October 26, 2016

Federal policymakers and land managers are accountable to the public for how they invest public funds and for the outcomes of the policy and management decisions they make. Through a variety of economic analyses and custom modeling, SEA economists evaluate how investments and management decisions affect individuals, local communities, and society as a whole....

Map of the extent of glacial deposits in the U.S. from Laurentide and Cordilleran
October 4, 2016

The Glacial Aquifer System Groundwater Availability Study began in 2012 and will be completed in 2016. The glacial aquifer system groundwater availability study is one of the USGS efforts in response to the Department of Interior WaterSMART initiative. This study is designed to provide information and analysis to stakeholders and decisionmakers for characterizing groundwater availability...

The 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 our water resources. Explore our water resources data!

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Bibiocephala dorsal vent
February 2, 2017

North American Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Digital Reference Collection

Aquatic invertebrates are a key component of freshwater ecosystems, and an understanding of aquatic invertebrate taxonomy is central to freshwater science. The North American Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Digital Reference Collection (NAAMDRC) was created by the USGS Aquatic Experimental Lab (AXL) to provide users with high-quality digital microscopy photographs.

Erosion along the Rio Puerco during the flood of 2006 following herbicide application to control saltcedar in 2003.
January 27, 2017

Lower Rio Puerco geospatial data, 1935 - 2014

A long-term study of the geomorphic history of the lower Rio Puerco arroyo in north-central New Mexico included the collection of high-precision (Real-time kinematic) GPS survey data (2002, 2007, 2010, and 2014), registration and rectification of historical aerial photographs (1935, 1950s, 1970s, and 1996), aerial LiDAR survey (2005) and post-flood (2006) satellite imagery.

USGS Current Water Data for the Nation
October 14, 2016

USGS Water Data Discovery

Are you looking for data for today, in the past, or what might happen in the future? Discover USGS Water Data resources here!

Water use data for the South Atlantic Water Science Center (NWISWeb)
September 22, 2016

Water use data for the South Atlantic Water Science Center (NWIS)

Water-use data are collected by area type (state, county, watershed, or aquifer) and source (rivers or groundwater), and category (such as public supply or irrigation). Water-use data has been reported every five years since 1950. The USGS works with local, State, and Federal agencies as well as other organizations to collect and report withdrawals.

Georgia || North Carolina || South Carolina

 Logo-Water Census Data Portal
April 18, 2016

National Water Census - Data Portal

At the National Water Census Data Portal you will find national estimates of water budget components for local watersheds, water withdrawal data for counties, tools to calculate statistics of daily streamflow records, modeled daily streamflow at ungaged stations, and access to records of aquatic biology observations.

small excerpt of Yosemite Valley topographic map in shades of green and brown
September 26, 2001

Geological Survey of Alabama - Downloadable GIS datasets

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.

Filter Total Items: 17
Map of ongoing project locations in U.S. National Parks, Assessing Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals Risk
January 24, 2017

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.

 

Map of Principal Aquifers of the United States
October 13, 2016

Explore water resources maps and GIS data.

Louisiana
September 30, 2016

River and Coastal Forecast Information

Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center, Slidell, Louisiana—(NWS)

 

North Platte, Nebraska US Topo quadrangle: 2014
September 26, 2016

Network wells depicted on the Climate Response Network location map
Note: Color shading in the table below indicates multiple wells that plot as a single point on the state location map above.
Note: BLS = Water Level in Feet Below Land Surface, RVD = Water Level referenced to a vertical datum

Aerial photograph of Pleasant Valley
September 26, 2016

Alabama Counties depicted on the state location map with active wells

Mobile River Basin Study
September 22, 2016

The Mobile River Basin in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee is one of the 59 study units that are part of the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program.

Screenshot of the Michigan Lake Water Clarity Interactive Map Viewer
September 15, 2016

Available online are estimated Secchi-disk transparency (eSDT) and corresponding estimated trophic state index (eTSI) values for Michigan inland lakes. To view available eSDT for Michigan inland lakes greater than 20 acres without interference from clouds, cloud shadows, dense vegetation or shoreline, go to the Michigan Lake Water Clarity Interactive Map Viewer. 

Buffalo River Map Screen Capture
September 14, 2016

Real-time displays of current floating conditions at various sites along the Arkansas Buffalo River. 

Low Flow Map
May 1, 2014

As part of their mission to protect public health and aquatic ecosystems, Alabama state agencies need accurate and representative streamflow statistics to establish realistic and applicable criteria for both water quality and water quantity (fig. 1).

Arkansas Map Thumbnail
January 1, 2014

The Arkansas Groundwater - Quality Network is a web map interface that provides rapid access to the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) NWIS and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) STORET databases of ambient groundwater information. The interface enables users to perform simple graphical analysis and download selected water-quality data. 

NWIS Mapper Screen Shot
May 21, 2013

Beta version 4 is now available for most states on a trial basis, and version 3 remains available. Beta version 4 provides a single user interface (at http://streamstatsags.cr.usgs.gov/streamstats/) for all states that are implemented, rather than separate applications for each state, as in versions 2 and 3, and the user interface is more user friendly than previous versions. 

a large map of the Fort Collins area
September 22, 2012

StreamStats is a Web-based tool that provides streamflow statistics, drainage-basin characteristics, and other information for USGS streamgaging stations and for user-selected ungaged sites on streams. When users select the location of a streamgaging station, StreamStats provides previously published information from a database. When users select a site on an ungaged stream, 

Explore new publications and highlighted collections.

Filter Total Items: 1,335
Flood effects provide evidence of an alternate stable state from dam management on the Upper Missouri River
Year Published: 2017

Flood effects provide evidence of an alternate stable state from dam management on the Upper Missouri River

We examine how historic flooding in 2011 affected the geomorphic adjustments created by dam regulation along the approximately 120 km free flowing reach of the Upper Missouri River bounded upstream by the Garrison Dam (1953) and downstream by Lake Oahe Reservoir (1959) near the City of Bismarck, ND, USA. The largest flood since dam regulation...

Skalak, Katherine; Benthem, Adam J.; Hupp, Cliff R.; Schenk, Edward R.; Galloway, Joel M.; Nustad, Rochelle A.
Skalak, K., Benthem, A., Hupp, C., Schenk, E., Galloway, J., and Nustad, R. (2016) Flood Effects Provide Evidence of an Alternate Stable State from Dam Management on the Upper Missouri River. River Res. Applic., doi: 10.1002/rra.3084.
Ascii grids of predicted pH in depth zones used by domestic and public drinking water supply depths, Central Valley, California
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.
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
Predicted pH at the domestic and public supply drinking water depths, Central Valley, California
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.
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.
Prediction and visualization of redox conditions in the groundwater of Central Valley, California
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.

Rosecrans, Celia Z.; Nolan, Bernard T.; Gronberg, JoAnn M.
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
Defining snow drought and why it matters
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
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
Environmental signatures and effects of an oil and gas wastewater spill in the Williston Basin, North Dakota
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 were collected...

Cozzarelli, Isabelle M.; Skalak, Katherine; Kent, D.B.; Engle, Mark A.; Benthem, Adam J.; Mumford, Adam; Haase, Karl B.; Farag, Aida 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.
Lithological influences on contemporary and long-term regolith weathering at the Luquillo Critical Zone Observatory
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.
Preferential flow, diffuse flow, and perching in an interbedded fractured-rock unsaturated zone
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.
Complete genome sequence of the acetylene-fermenting Pelobacter sp. strain SFB93
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.
Complete genome sequences of two acetylene-fermenting Pelobacter acetylenicus strains
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.
Water, Energy, and Biogeochemical Model (WEBMOD), user’s manual, version 1
Year Published: 2017

Water, Energy, and Biogeochemical Model (WEBMOD), user’s manual, version 1

The Water, Energy, and Biogeochemical Model (WEBMOD) uses the framework of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Modular Modeling System to simulate fluxes of water and solutes through watersheds. WEBMOD divides watersheds into model response units (MRU) where fluxes and reactions are simulated for the following eight hillslope reservoir types: canopy...

Webb, Richard M.T.; Parkhurst, David L.
Webb, R.M.T., and Parkhurst, D.L., 2017, Water, Energy, and Biogeochemical Model (WEBMOD), user’s manual, version 1: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods, book 6, chap. B35, 171 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/tm6B35.
Estimated annual agricultural pesticide use by crop group for states of the conterminous United States, 1992-2014
Year Published: 2017

Estimated annual agricultural pesticide use by crop group for states of the conterminous United States, 1992-2014

This dataset provides estimates of annual agricultural use of pesticide compounds by crop group at the state level for states in the conterminous United States, for the time period 1992-2014, compiled from data used to make county-level estimates by means of methods described in Thelin and Stone (2013) and Baker and Stone (2015). The source of...

Baker, Nancy T.
Baker, N. T. , 2017, Estimated annual agricultural pesticide use by crop group for states of the conterminous United States, 1992-2014: U.S. Geological Survey Data Release, https://dx.doi.org/10.5066/F7NP22KM.

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.

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Water Use Site Retrieval Page Icon
July 4, 2016

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.

Example visualization of model output
April 14, 2016

Software and related material (data and documentation) are made available by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to be used in the public interest and the advancement of science.

Upper Klamath Lake
April 3, 2013

The Shoreline Management Tool—An ArcMap Tool for Analyzing Water Depth, Inundated Area, Volume, and Selected Habitats, with an Example for the Lower Wood River Valley, Oregon

Data entry for Calculate Streamflow Depletion by Nearby Pumping Well
May 16, 2008

STRMDEPL08—An Extended Version of STRMDEPL with Additional Analytical Solutions to Calculate Streamflow Depletion by Nearby Pumping Well

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: 636
October 2106 (approx.)
In this video we will outline the pre-measurement tests conducted prior to a measurement in the SonTek RSSL software. Note: Use of trade names is for descriptive purposes only, and does not imply endorsement by the USGS. For additional videos in this series, visit the following link: https://www2.usgs.gov/humancapital/ecd/hydrotube/hydrotube-ADCP.html
October 2106 (approx.)
In this video we will outline the process of collecting an open water station in the SonTek RSSL software. Note: Use of trade names is for descriptive purposes only, and does not imply endorsement by the USGS. For additional videos in this series, visit the following link: https://www2.usgs.gov/humancapital/ecd/hydrotube/hydrotube-ADCP.html
scientific instruments and platform next to river surrounded by snow
2017 (approx.)
USGS Streamgaging equipment and cableway on the Pit River near Canby, California operates year round.
Wintry trees and grasses line New Jersey's Mantua Creek.
2017 (approx.)
Wintry, leafless trees and tawny grasses provide a natural buffer along the undeveloped banks of New Jersey's Mantua Creek.
two men in camo-patterned overalls standing next to a boat on the shore of a river with an instrument on the ground.
2017 (approx.)
USGS technicians prepare to board a boat to go out to the center of the channel in the San Joaquin River below Friant Dam to get an accurate measurement of water flow during releases from the Dam for flood control.
Gray metal box standing next to a river with a sign in green and black writing
2017 (approx.)
USGS Streamgaging Station in northern Nevada.
man in yellow shirt and camo coveralls standing in thigh-high water with instrument.
2017 (approx.)
USGS technician measuring streamflow in the Sisquoc River near Garey, California, upstream of the Santa Maria Mesa Road Bridge.
Two technicians in a cablecar over a river, with an instrument hanging below them
2017 (approx.)
USGS technicians preparing for a streamflow measurement by lowering an acoustic Doppler current profiler from a cable way on the American River near Fair Oaks, California.
Map of New Jersey showing water sampling sites
2017 (approx.)
Map showing locations where 30-40 years' worth of water samples were analyzed to highlight water quality trends in USGS Scientific Investigations Report 2016-5176, Trends in the Quality of Water in New Jersey Streams, Water Years 1971-2011. The map is a figure in the report, minus station numbers. The report url is https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/sir20165176 .
man in yellow slicker standing in rushing river up to his thighs, holding a stick-like instrument in the water
2017 (approx.)
USGS hydrographer measuring streamflow using a handheld Acoustic Doppler Velocimeter in fast moving floodwater Cajon Creek near Keenbrook, California.
Woman standing in middle of stream next to instruments
2017 (approx.)
USGS technician measuring streamflow in northern Nevada.
New Mexico Surface Water
March 24, 2017
New Mexico real-time surface-water data chart
Filter Total Items: 292
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.

A USGS Hydrologic Technician installs a new streamgage
February 28, 2017

Philadelphia communities along the Schuylkill River and Darby Creek now have new tools to help inform residents of impending flooding. The U.S. Geological Survey recently installed three new streamgages in Manayunk, Eastwick, and downtown near 30th St., which will monitor water levels, and provide vital data used by emergency managers and flood forecasters to help protect lives and property. 

Wintry trees and grasses line New Jersey's Mantua Creek.
February 27, 2017

A USGS analysis of New Jersey water quality trends found levels of total nitrogen and total phosphorus, which fuel algae blooms, declined or stayed the same at most stream sites between the 1970s and 2011. At all sites studied, chlorides from road salt increased over that time.

USGS logo
February 22, 2017

Joyce E. Williamson, a native of South Dakota and a South Dakota School of Mines and Technology alumna, was selected as the director of the newly formed U.S. Geological Survey Dakota Water Science Center. Williamson is located in the center’s Rapid City, South Dakota, office.