Unified Interior Regions


Nebraska Water Science Center delivers real-time water data for Nebraska streams and aquifers to cooperators and the public. We operate flood alert systems for the Lincoln and Omaha metro areas and create flood inundation maps for partner cities. Our expertise includes groundwater studies and models, water quality, geomorphology, and ecology; allowing for integrated water research in the State.

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States L2 Landing Page Tabs

Filter Total Items: 31
Date published: February 21, 2017
Status: Active

High Plains Water-Level Monitoring Study

The High Plains aquifer underlies 111.8 million acres (about 175,000 square miles) in parts of eight States—Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming. In response to a directive from Congress, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with local, state, and federal entities, has collected water-level data from wells screened in the High Plains...

Date published: February 16, 2017

Delineation of Areas Potentially Drained by Tile Drains and Updating of Streamflow-Trend Statistics from the Elkhorn River Basin in Eastern Nebraska

Water resource sustainability in the Elkhorn River Basin, Nebraska is a critical issue. Understanding streamflow trends is important to the determination of sustainable surface water and groundwater in the basin. The Lower Elkhorn and Upper Elkhorn Natural Resources Districts and the USGS cooperatively studied trends in streamflow characteristics of sites in the Elkhorn River, Salt Creek, and...

Contacts: Kellan Strauch
Date published: January 26, 2017
Status: Active

Elkhorn-Loup Model

In the Elkhorn River and Loup River Basins, Natural Resources Districts (Upper Elkhorn, Lower Elkhorn, Upper Loup, Lower Loup, Middle Niobrara, Lower Niobrara, Lewis and Clark, and Lower Platte North) are collecting data and developing tools to assist with water resource planning. Critical planning issues in the Elkhorn River and Loup River basins are focused on the availability of the...

Date published: January 6, 2017

Nutrients and Productivity in the Lower Niobrara-Middle Missouri Confluence Area and the 59-mile reach of Missouri River between Gavins Point Dam and Ponca State Park

The Niobrara-Missouri Rivers delta at the head of Lewis and Clark Reservoir and the 59-mile reach of Missouri River below Gavins Point Dam are important river ecosystems for a variety of fish species including paddlefish, sauger, catfish and the endangered pallid sturgeon. From August 2015 through August 2016, we collected nutrient and chlorophyll water samples, and nutrient and carbon bed-...

Date published: January 6, 2017

Bioretention Cell Monitoring, Douglas County, Nebraska

USGS Nebraska Water Science Center hydrologists, in cooperation with Douglas County, Nebraska, are monitoring the performance of stormwater bioretention cells that use “green” infrastructure techniques in Omaha, Nebraska. Bioretention cells are used to reduce the quantity of stormwater that flows into a combined sewer overflow (CSO) system which reduces discharge of raw sewage into local...

Contacts: Kellan Strauch
Date published: January 5, 2017

Groundwater Quality and Age of Secondary Bedrock Aquifers, Eastern Nebraska

In eastern Nebraska, secondary aquifer systems are increasingly being considered to supplement growing municipal, domestic, and agricultural water demands. Within the Eastern Nebraska Water Resources Assessment (ENWRA) area, airborne geophysical surveys have mapped the thickness and extent of these aquifers over much of eastern Nebraska; however little is known about the age and quality of...

Contacts: Amanda Flynn
Date published: January 5, 2017

Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District Groundwater Quality Monitoring

The USGS Nebraska Water Science Center has been collecting groundwater quality samples in cooperation with the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District (NRD) since 1992 in support of the NRD's groundwater management plan. The basic geochemistry and age of the groundwater was established. Well waters are sampled yearly throughout the NRD to monitor the resource and assess concentrations...

Contacts: Amanda Flynn
Date published: January 5, 2017

Sand Hills and Dissected Plains Water Budgets

A detailed annual water budget is invaluable for effective interrelated water management, particularly in river valleys where streamflow and crop demands are key components of the budget. Extraction of groundwater or diversion of surface water can affect flow to streams, wetlands, and other surface-water bodies. We are providing new insights into the water budget by estimating quantities of...

Contacts: Amanda Flynn
Date published: December 12, 2016

Bioretention Cell Monitoring, Omaha Sewer Maintenance Facility

Stormwater management methodologies are shifting from the traditional storm sewer to a more green-infrastructure approach that stresses the importance of capturing, retaining and treating stormwater. The implementation of green infrastructure uses various Best Management Practices (BMPs) to mitigate the effects of stormwater on flooding and water quality. A bioretention cell is a BMP that...

Contacts: David Rus
Date published: December 7, 2016
Status: Active

Groundwater-Quality Monitoring near Ashland, Nebraska

Since 1991, the USGS Nebraska Water Science Center has collected water samples from six monitoring wells in the Platte River alluvial aquifer near Ashland. Analytes include major and trace metals, nutrients, dissolved organic carbon, pesticides and their degradates, and arsenic species. The samples are analyzed by the USGS National Water Quality Laboratory. The USGS also collects additional...

Date published: August 1, 2016
Status: Active

Ecology of Insect-eating Bats

Bats are the only flying mammals that are active mostly at night and occur on all continents except Antarctica. Bats are ecologically diverse, with a range of species that specialize in feeding on fruit, nectar, blood, fish, small mammals, and insects. However, of the more than 1,100 known species of bats on Earth, the majority specialize in feeding on insects. In the United States for example...

Date published: July 26, 2016
Status: Active

HDgov: Multi-agency Website for Human Dimensions of Natural Resources

HDgov is an interactive and mobile-responsive online portal to interagency, academic, and non-government resources focused on the human dimensions of natural resource management. The web portal provides easy access to tools, publications, data, and methods that help ensure that the people side of natural resources is considered throughout the entire natural resource management process. The...

Filter Total Items: 21
Date published: September 1, 2016

Sampled Sites for the U.S. Geological Survey Midwest Stream Quality Assessment

In 2013, the first of several Regional Stream Quality Assessments (RSQA) was done in the Midwest United States. The Midwest Stream Quality Assessment (MSQA) was a collaborative study by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA), the USGS Columbia Environmental Research Center, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) National

Date published: August 4, 2016

Prospect- and Mine-Related Features from U.S. Geological Survey 7.5- and 15-Minute Topographic Quadrangle Maps of the Western United States

These data are part of a larger USGS project to develop an updated geospatial database of mines, mineral deposits and mineral regions in the United States. Mine and prospect-related symbols, such as those used to represent prospect pits, mines, adits, dumps, tailings, etc., hereafter referred to as “mine” symbols or features, are currently being digitized on a st

Date published: April 20, 2016

Structures Data

USGS data portray selected structures data, including the location and characteristics of manmade facilities. Characteristics consist of a structure's physical form (footprint), function, name, location, and detailed information about the structure. The types of structures collected are largely determined by the needs of the disaster planning and response and homeland security organizations....

Date published: April 19, 2016

The United States Interagency Elevation Inventory (USIEI)

The USIEI is a comprehensive, nationwide listing of known high-accuracy topographic and bathymetric data for the United States and its territories. The project is a collaborative effort of the USGS and NOAA with contributions from other federal agencies. The inventory supports the 3D Elevation Program and the Integrated Ocean and Coastal Mapping effort. This resource is updated in Spring and...

Date published: April 19, 2016

Elevation Data

The 3DEP products and services available through The National Map consist of lidar point clouds (LPC), standard digital elevation models (DEMs) at various horizontal resolutions, elevation source and associated datasets, an elevation point query service and bulk point query service. All 3DEP products are available, free of charge and without use restrictions.

Date published: April 12, 2016

Orthoimagery Data

Orthoimagery data typically are high resolution aerial images that combine the visual attributes of an aerial photograph with the spatial accuracy and reliability of a planimetric map. The National Map offers public domain, 1-meter orthoimagery for the conterminous United States with many urban areas and other locations at 2-foot or finer resolution.

Date published: April 12, 2016

The National Map Small-Scale Collection

The National Map offers a collection of small-scale datasets, most of which are at 1:1,000,000. The National Map publishes two data collections at one million-scale: one for Global Map users and one for National Map users. In terms of vector geometry, the lines, points, and areas in these data collections are identical. The difference is in the attributes assigned to these features.

Filter Total Items: 15
Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 1990

National water summary 1987: Hydrologic events and water supply and use

Water use in the United States, as measured by freshwater withdrawals in 1985, averaged 338,000 Mgal/d (million gallons per day), which is enough water to cover the 48 conterminous States to a depth of about 2.4 inches. Only 92,300 Mgal/d, or 27.3 percent of the water withdrawn, was consumptive use and thus lost to immediate further use; the...

Carr, Jerry E.; Chase, Edith B.; Paulson, Richard W.; Moody, David W.
National water summary 1987: hydrologic events and water supply and use; 1990; WSP; 2350; Carr, Jerry E.; Chase, Edith B.; Paulson, Richard W.; Moody, David W.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 1986

Estimate of livestock water use in Nebraska during 1980

The estimated volume of 148,120 acre-ft of water used by livestock in Nebraska during 1980 is the second largest (after Texas) volume used for livestock production in the fifty Sates. Although water used by livestock is a small percentage of the total water used in Nebraska, this use has a major impact on the farm economy of the State, as...

Steele, E.K.
Attribution: Water Resources
Estimate of livestock water use in Nebraska during 1980; 1986; WRI; 86-4031; Steele, E. K.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 1985

Estimate of self-supplied domestic water use in Nebraska during 1980

No data base of actual measurements exists for self-supplied, domestic water use in Nebraska, because Nebraska laws do not require drilling permits, well registration, or reporting of volumes withdrawn from domestic wells. Self-supplied, domestic water use of 31,280 acre-ft in Nebraska during 1980 was computed from estimates of gal/day/capita use...

Steele, E.K.
Attribution: Water Resources
Estimate of self-supplied domestic water use in Nebraska during 1980; 1985; WRI; 85-4257; Steele, E. K.

Filter Total Items: 33
Photo of sunflowers blooming in the Nebraska Sandhills
August 22, 2013

Sunflowers blooming in the Nebraska Sandhills

During the summer of 2013, the Nebraska Sandhills exhibited a unusually significant sunflower emergence probably triggered by environmental conditions from the preceeding 2012 drought. Also, the Eastern Red Cedar is a particularly agressive invasive species which has become well established in Nebraska.

Photo of the Dismal River valley in Nebraska Sandhills
August 22, 2013

The Dismal River valley just off of Highway 83 south of Thedford, Nebr

The Dismal River valley is far from "dismal." Set in the Nebraska Sandhills, this idyllic river is relatively unaffected by humans and a popular recreational river in the state. The invasive species Eastern Red Cedar has become well established in Nebraska.

Photo of the Dismal River Valley south of Thedford
August 22, 2013

The Dismal River on U.S. Highway 83 south of Thedford, Nebr.

This view is looking south to the Dismal River from the U.S. Highway 83 scenic overlook south of Thedford, Nebraska.

November 8, 2012

The Effects of the 2012 Drought in Nebraska

Director of the USGS Nebraska Water Science Center, Robert Swanson, discusses how the drought of 2012 unfolded in Nebraska, the fallout, and what put this drought in a class with other major droughts during the past 100 years.

Photo of the Platte River near South Bend, Nebraska
May 29, 2012

Platte River from the observation tower near South Bend, Nebraska.

Platte River from the observation tower near South Bend, Nebraska.

video thumbnail: Ice Jam on the Little Nemaha River at Auburn, Nebraska
February 14, 2011

Ice Jam on the Little Nemaha River at Auburn, Nebraska

A 1-minute video shows ice flows on the Little Nemaha River at the streamgaging station at Auburn, Nebraska.

May 24, 2010

Social Media and the USGS Nebraska Water Science Center

NEWSC Director Bob Swanson talks with Rachael Hoagland about the Center's foray into social media as another means to communicate water science to the public and others.

May 24, 2010

Social Media and the USGS Nebraska Water Science Center

NEWSC Director Bob Swanson talks with Rachael Hoagland about the Center's foray into social media as another means to communicate water science to the public and others.

March 3, 2010

USGS monitor ice jams in Nebraska, a possible source of flooding this spring

We talk with Jason Lambrecht of the Nebraska Water Science Center to talk about a common problem this time of year, ice jams.

Photo of scientist measuring groundwater levels at night.
April 3, 2009

Scientist measuring groundwater levels at during aquifer test study.

USGS Nebraska Water Science Center hydrologist, Greg Steele, collecting groundwater level measurements at night during an aquifer test.

December 28, 2008

Introduction to Nebraskast

Bob Swanson, the USGS Nebraska Water Science Center's Director, introduces you to the Nebraskast podcast series

Filter Total Items: 67
Flooding on the south Loup River at Arnold, Nebr.
August 18, 2017

Recent storms in north-central and northeast Nebraska have caused high flows in several rivers, streams and creeks. 

High Plains aquifer water-level changes, predevelopment to 2015
June 16, 2017

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.

February 17, 2017

Small variations in the density of the earth’s crust—undetectable to humans without sensitive instruments—influence where earthquakes may occur in the central United States. These new findings from the U.S. Geological Survey, published today in Nature Communications, may allow scientists to map where future seismicity in the center of the country is most likely.

Map of Northern High Plains Aquifer
December 13, 2016

A new U.S. Geological Survey publication and model can be applied by multiple entities to better understand flow, quantity, sources and sinks of groundwater in the Northern High Plains Aquifer, which covers approximately 100,000 square miles across Nebraska, South Dakota, Kansas, Colorado and Wyoming.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Ignites Controlled Fires
July 31, 2016

The USGS Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit in partnership with the Nebraska Intelligent MoBile Unmanned Systems Lab (NIMBUS) and the Applied Complex Adaptive Systems Lab have designed a drone prototype that drops balls filled with combustible material that ignites fire as part of prescribed fire management.

Planned US Topo map production schedule for the next three- year revision cycle
November 19, 2015

With the release of new US Topo maps for Illinois and South Dakota, the USGS has completed the second, three-year cycle of revising and updating electronic US Topo quadrangles. This means that since late 2009, the USGS has published nearly every map in the conterminous U.S., twice.

Filter Total Items: 22