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Stories of the Water Cycle, a Virtual Party

On October 13th, 2022, the USGS Water Resources Mission Area hosted the Stories of the Water Cycle virtual party. The live event gave viewers the chance to hear compelling stories of the water cycle and see the debut of the new USGS Water Cycle Diagram. Missed the release party? No problem! You can watch the entire thing on the USGS YouTube channel.

A preview image of the new water cycle diagram, which is faded out in the background. Text says "Stories of the Water Cycle"

Event title: Stories of the Water Cycle

Event date & time: Thursday, October 13th, 2022 at 6:30 pm ET/ 3:30 pm PT (PAST EVENT)

Event location: Online

Summary: USGS's previous Water Cycle Diagram was released in the year 2000 and is accessed by hundreds of thousands of educators, students, and global community members every year. Since its publication, there have been over two decades of in-depth scientific research about where water is on Earth, how it moves, and the role of humans in the water cycle. The USGS is pleased to release a user-friendly, visually appealing, and scientifically accurate diagram for this era. Join our party to see the diagram revealed, to hear compelling lightning talks and stories about the water cycle, and for the chance to win our raffle!


The event included...

  • A special guest introduction

  • An engaging narration of Drippy, our friendly water droplet, as they travel throughout the many cycles of water

  • Lightning talks from USGS scientists as we travel through the places depicted in the diagram

  • The reveal of the updated Water Cycle Diagram!

  • Resources for educators to use with the new diagram

  • Recorded live Q&A with scientists and other panelists

  • A raffle exclusive to this event - several viewers had the chance to win a full-size poster of the updated Water Cycle Diagram!


Meet the Panelists

  • Drippy is the USGS Official Water Droplet. Drippy travels throughout the many cycles of water, educating us on water availability and human impacts. 


  • Andy Creighton (she/her) is a Hydrologist focused on snowpack dynamics and is the Tribal Liaison for the Colorado Water Science Center. 
    • Andy’s lightning ⚡ talk: Most of the water in the western U.S. comes from the snowpack of the high-elevation mountains, but changes in timing, magnitude, and duration of snowmelt may substantially alter downstream water availability. Approximately 2 billion people are expected to experience diminished water supplies because of seasonal snowpack decline this century. 


  • Marty Briggs (he/him) works for the USGS Water Mission Area Hydrologic Remote Sensing Branch in Connecticut and is adjunct faculty in several University of Connecticut departments.  
    • Marty’s ⚡ talk: Precipitation in headwater systems generates streamflow through quick runoff and groundwater recharge. USGS tracks groundwater that discharges to surface water, creating cold water fish habitat and helping fill downstream reservoirs.


  • Jon Dillow (he/him) is currently the Surface Water Specialist for the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Water Science Center, one of many roles he has filled during his 30+ year career with the USGS in Maryland.  


  • Marina Metes (she/her) is a physical scientist at the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Water Science Center and her research is focused on fluvial geomorphology and remote sensing, primarily within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. 
    • Jon & Marina’s lightning ⚡ talk: Flooding can cause immense damage to the natural and built environment. Stormwater runoff is intensified in urban and suburban areas because impervious surfaces such as rooftops and pavement limit precipitation from being absorbed back into the ground. Urban stormwater management practices help mitigate runoff, ranging from large-scale structures such a retention ponds to smaller structures like rain barrels or rain gardens. 


  • Kelly Warner (she/her) is the Deputy Director of Science for the Central Midwest Water Science Center.  She manages the water science studies for the USGS in Illinois, Iowa and Missouri. 
    • Kelly’s lightning ⚡ talk: As humans, we use water to grow our food. USGS studies help to better understand the transport of water and chemicals in agricultural areas. Too many nutrients can cause imbalances in downstream systems, sometimes resulting in harmful algal blooms (HABs). 


  • Hayley Corson-Dosch (she/her) is a hydrologist and data scientist in the USGS Data Science Branch who loves water science, cartography, and data visualization. 
    • Hayley’s lightning ⚡ talk: How did we design this new diagram?! So much went into this redesign, and as the lead designer, Hayley will give us the inside scoop. 


  • Rachel Volentine (she/her) is a usability specialist for the WMA Web Communications Branch. She loves talking with users of USGS Water products and learning how to better serve people’s needs. 
    • Rachel’s lightning ⚡ talk: USGS spoke to over 100 educators and used their feedback to redesign the water cycle diagram and we regularly reach out to people to get feedback on our designs. Attend the party to find out how you can participate in user-centered design! 


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Was this event recorded?

A: Yes! You can watch it on the USGS YouTube channel: New Water Cycle Diagram REVEALED - YouTube


Q: How can I win the raffle?

A: You only had the chance to win the raffle if you attended the entire party LIVE