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Colorado River Basin drought and the 2023 water year

How wet was 2023 when compared to historical averages? This geonarrative compares precipitation and streamflow amounts observed during the 2023 water year with historical conditions in the Colorado River Basin over the last 30 years. While the 2023 water year was a wet year with above-average precipitation at many locations, it was not uniformly good or record-setting. 

Science Data Catalog

The USGS Science Data Catalog provides seamless access to USGS research and monitoring data from across the nation. Users have the ability to search, browse, or use a map-based interface to discover data.

Colorado River Basin Projects

The Colorado River Basin Actionable and Strategic Integrated Science and Technology Team has created an interactive map of USGS projects to highlight the integrated science currently conducted within the Colorado River Basin. These projects are not all inclusive of the work conducted by the USGS within the CRB, but highlight the broad range of integrated science currently conducted. 


Landsatlook visualization client enables users rapid online viewing and create dynamic custom mosaics from scenes within the Landsat archive for an area of interest. Allows users to customize their mosaic using three band combinations, select spectral indices and quality assessment band filtering.  

Drought in the Colorado River Basin - Insights Using Open Data

Since 2000, the Colorado River Basin has been experiencing a historic, extended drought that has impacted regional water supply and other resources, such as hydropower, recreation, and ecologic services. This visualization is part of a multi-agency effort to showcase the usefulness of open data by exploring the current 16-year drought and its effects on the Colorado River Basin.

California Drought, Visualized with Open Data

In 2017, the State of California was experiencing one of the most severe droughts on record, which has implications for citizens of California and beyond. This website graphically visualizes these data to help understand the effect of drought on rivers, streams, lakes, and reservoirs.

Drought & Groundwater in California

Long-term groundwater-level data are fundamental to the resolution of problems dealing with groundwater availability and sustainability. Significant periods of time typically are required to collect water-level data needed to assess the effects of climate variability, to monitor the effects of regional aquifer development, or to obtain data sufficient for analysis of water-level trends.

Drought & Surface Water in California

Careful observation and analysis of the movement and condition of surface water is essential for understanding this resource, especially during times of drought. The California Water Science Center uses a network of more than 500 streamgages to collect real-time data on surface water at locations across the state.

Vegetation Dynamics Drought Viewer

The Vegetation Dynamics/Drought viewer provides a dynamic online map interface that can be used to view USGS and other data. 

Interactive Map: Estimating Drought Streamflow Probabilities for Virginia Streams

Maximum likelihood logistic regression is used to estimate drought probabilities for selected Virginia rivers and streams 5 to 11 months in advance. 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.

Central Valley: Drought Indicators

During the recent droughts of 2007-2010 and 2012-2017, groundwater pumping has increased from the combined effects of the drought and land-use changes, re-initiating land subsidence. In order to document historical subsidence and monitor continued changes, the USGS has gathered and interpreted data from a variety of sources.