Water Availability and Use Science Program

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Program goals: provide a more accurate assessment of the status of the water resources of the U.S., assist in the determination of the quantity and quality of water that is available for beneficial uses, identify long-term trends in water availability, and develop the basis for an improved ability to forecast the availability of water for economic, energy production, and environmental uses.

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Water Availability in the United States

Water Availability in the United States

The Water Availability and Use Science Program (WAUSP) fulfills the Water Resources Mission Area's objectives to provide comprehensive water availability and use science to the Nation.

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News

Date published: March 12, 2018

Media Advisory: Water Levels to be Measured in 1,300 Southern Idaho Wells

Data Will Provide a “Snapshot” of the Eastern Snake River Plain Aquifer

Date published: February 27, 2018

Reservoir Sediment Can be Used as Fracking Proppant

Instead of requiring costly dredging to remove sediment buildup behind water reservoirs and diversions, sediment from reservoirs in the Missouri River Basin could actually be used as fracking proppant feedstock, also known as frac sand, according to a recently published U.S. Geological Survey study

Date published: December 1, 2017

Hundreds of Biological Data Available for Fountain Creek Basin, Colorado 

The U.S. Geological Survey just added more than 800 fish and macroinvertebrate data samples from Fountain Creek, Colorado, to the USGS BioData Retrieval system.

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Date published: October 3, 2017

Colorado Plateaus Regional Groundwater Availability

Pilot phase

This study is in a pilot phase during fiscal years 2017 and 2018. The purpose of the pilot phase is to identify possible technical challenges of using the USGS code GSFLOW for simulating groundwater and surface-water flow in the Colorado Plateau principal aquifer system. During the pilot phase, the project will evaluate GSFLOW in the San Juan River Basin (...

Date published: December 8, 2016
Status: Active

Glacial Aquifer System Groundwater Availability Study

The glacial aquifer system is present in parts of 26 states and is subject to a range of climatic conditions from humid to semi-arid. Groundwater availability in the system may be constrained by climatic conditions, poor water quality, hydrogeology, concerns of conflicts with current groundwater users, or the desire to maintain or restore environmental streamflows. 

The Glacial Aquifer...

Contacts: Howard W Reeves
Date published: December 3, 2016

Erosion and Invasive Saltcedar

Formation of arroyos in the late 1800s greatly increased erosion across the southwestern United States. Since the 1930s, however, this erosion has decreased, partly because of bank stabilization by introduced saltcedar. With Isleta Pueblo Indian Nation, the Aquatic Systems Branch developed a new sediment dating method using saltcedar tree rings. We applied the method in a landmark study of...

Date published: November 10, 2016
Status: Active

Glacial Aquifer - Contact Us

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 Availability Study...

Contacts: Howard W Reeves
Date published: October 5, 2016
Status: Active

Glacial Aquifer - Objectives and Scope

The overall goal of this study is to assess groundwater availability in the glacial aquifer system. The primary objectives are to quantify current groundwater resources, evaluate how these resources have changed over time, and provide the tools needed to forecast system response to future anthropogenic and environmental stresses.

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Date published: October 5, 2016
Status: Active

Glacial Aquifer - Current Activities

Preliminary work for the study began in the summer of 2011. The project is planned for 2012-16, and the study will be conducted by a team of researchers from several USGS Science Centers across the study area.

 

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Date published: October 5, 2016
Status: Active

Glacial Aquifer - Relevance and Benefits

The glacial aquifer system groundwater availability study is a regional study of the USGS Groundwater Resources Program. These regional studies form the basis for the groundwater assessments within a national Water Census. Groundwater is one of the most important natural resources of the nation. It provides half our drinking water and is essential to the vitality of agriculture and industry,...

Date published: September 22, 2016

Water Use

The USGS compiles water use information by State including estimated amounts, sources, and categories of use every five years since 1950. Sources include surface water and groundwater, both fresh and saline. Categories include public supply, domestic, livestock, industrial, irrigation, and thermoelectric power. These data provide a source of information about regional and national trends in...

Contacts: Carol Luukkonen
Date published: April 7, 2016

National Research Program

The USGS National Research Program (NRP), part of the USGS Water Mission Area, conducts research to develop and disseminate science-based information and tools needed for a fundamental understanding of the processes that affect the availability, movement, and quality of the Nation’s water resources. Our science supports a wide range of policies and activities.

Date published: April 7, 2016

Cooperative Matching Funds

Cooperative matching funds bring local, State, and Tribal water science needs and decision-making together with USGS national capabilities related to USGS nationally consistent methods and quality assurance; innovative monitoring technology, models, and analysis tools; and robust data management and delivery systems.

Date published: April 7, 2016

National Water Census

The National Water Census is a USGS research program on national water availability and use that develops new water accounting tools and assesses water availability at the regional and national scales. Through the Water Census, USGS is integrating diverse research on water availability and use and enhancing the understanding of connection between water quality and water availability.

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Date published: 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.

Date published: March 15, 2016

Water-use data available from USGS

The U.S. Geological Survey compiles water-use estimates every five years for each State, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Archived datasets underlying the published "Estimated Use of Water in the United States" reports are available. Data incorporating any revisions can be found on NWISWeb.

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Year Published: 2016

Hydrogeology and hydrologic conditions of the Ozark Plateaus aquifer system

The hydrogeology and hydrologic characteristics of the Ozark Plateaus aquifer system were characterized as part of ongoing U.S. Geological Survey efforts to assess groundwater availability across the Nation. The need for such a study in the Ozark Plateaus physiographic province (Ozark Plateaus) is highlighted by increasing demand on groundwater...

Hays, Phillip D.; Knierim, Katherine J.; Breaker, Brian K.; Westerman, Drew A.; Clark, Brian R.
Hays, P.D., Knierim, K.J., Breaker, Brian, Westerman, D.A., and Clark, B.R., 2016, Hydrogeology and hydrologic conditions of the Ozark Plateaus aquifer system: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2016–5137, 61 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20165137.

Year Published: 2016

Altitudes and thicknesses of hydrogeologic units of the Ozark Plateaus aquifer system in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma

A hydrogeologic framework was constructed to represent the altitudes and thicknesses of hydrogeologic units within the Ozark Plateaus aquifer system as part of a regional groundwater-flow model supported by the U.S. Geological Survey Water Availability and Use Science Program. The Ozark Plateaus aquifer system study area is nearly 70,000 square...

Westerman, Drew A.; Gillip, Jonathan A.; Richards, Joseph M.; Hays, Phillip D.; Clark, Brian R.
Westerman, D.A., Gillip, J.A., Richards, J.M., Hays, P.D., Clark, B.R., 2016, Altitudes and thicknesses of hydrogeologic units of the Ozark Plateaus aquifer system in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2016–5130, 32 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20165130.

Year Published: 2016

Water use in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin, Alabama, Florida, and Georgia, 2010, and water-use trends, 1985-2010

The Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) River Basin encompasses about 20,230 square miles in parts of Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. Increasing population growth and agricultural production from the 1970s to 2010 has prompted increases in water-resources development and substantially increased water demand in the basin. Since the 1980s, Alabama...

Lawrence, Stephen J.
Lawrence, S.J., 2016, Water use in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin, Alabama, Florida, and Georgia, 2010, and water-use trends, 1985–2010: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2016–5007, 72 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20165007.

Year Published: 2016

Evaluating Landsat 8 evapotranspiration for water use mapping in the Colorado River Basin

Evapotranspiration (ET) mapping at the Landsat spatial resolution (100 m) is essential to fully understand water use and water availability at the field scale. Water use estimates in the Colorado River Basin (CRB), which has diverse ecosystems and complex hydro-climatic regions, will be helpful to water planners and managers. Availability of...

Senay, Gabriel; Friedrichs, MacKenzie O.; Singh, Ramesh K.; Velpuri, Naga Manohar

Year Published: 2016

Chemical considerations for an updated National assessment of brackish groundwater resources

Brackish groundwater (BGW) is increasingly used for water supplies where fresh water is scarce, but the distribution and availability of such resources have not been characterized at the national scale in the United States since the 1960s. Apart from its distribution and accessibility, BGW usability is a function of the chemical requirements of...

McMahon, Peter B.; Böhlke, John Karl; Dahm, Katharine; Parkhurst, David L.; Anning, David W.; Stanton, Jennifer S.
McMahon, P.B., Böhlke, J.K., Dahm, K.G., Parkhurst, D.L., Anning, D.W. and Stanton, J.S., 2016, Chemical considerations for an updated National assessment of brackish groundwater resources: Groundwater, Issue Paper, 12 p., doi:10.1111/gwat.12367

Year Published: 2016

Geophysical log database for the Floridan aquifer system and southeastern Coastal Plain aquifer system in Florida and parts of Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina

A database of borehole geophysical logs and other types of data files were compiled as part of ongoing studies of water availability and assessment of brackish- and saline-water resources. The database contains 4,883 logs from 1,248 wells in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, and from a limited number of offshore wells of the eastern Gulf...

Williams, Lester J.; Raines, Jessica E.; Lanning, Amanda E.
Williams, L.J., Raines, J.E., and Lanning, A.E., 2016, Geophysical log database for the Floridan aquifer system and southeastern Coastal Plain aquifer system in Florida and parts of Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina (ver. 1.1, December 2016): U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 760, 12 p., available at http://pubs.usgs.gov/ds/760/.

Year Published: 2015

Summary of hydrologic modeling for the Delaware River Basin using the Water Availability Tool for Environmental Resources (WATER)

The Water Availability Tool for Environmental Resources (WATER) is a decision support system for the nontidal part of the Delaware River Basin that provides a consistent and objective method of simulating streamflow under historical, forecasted, and managed conditions. In order to quantify the uncertainty associated with these simulations, however...

Williamson, Tanja N.; Lant, Jeremiah G.; Claggett, Peter; Nystrom, Elizabeth A.; Milly, Paul C.D.; Nelson, Hugh L.; Hoffman, Scott A.; Colarullo, Susan J.; Fischer, Jeffrey M.
Williamson, T.N., Lant, J.G., Claggett, P.R., Nystrom, E.A., Milly, P.C.D., Nelson, H.L., Hoffman, S.A., Colarullo, S.J., and Fischer, J.M., 2015, Summary of hydrologic modeling for the Delaware River Basin using the Water Availability Tool for Environmental Resources (WATER): U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2015–5143, 68 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20155143.

Year Published: 2015

User manuals for the Delaware River Basin Water Availability Tool for Environmental Resources (DRB–WATER) and associated WATER application utilities

The Water Availability Tool for Environmental Resources (WATER) is a decision support system (DSS) for the nontidal part of the Delaware River Basin (DRB) that provides a consistent and objective method of simulating streamflow under historical, forecasted, and managed conditions. WATER integrates geospatial sampling of landscape characteristics,...

Williamson, Tanja N.; Lant, Jeremiah G.
Williamson, T.N., and Lant, J.G., 2015, User manuals for the Delaware River Basin Water Availability Tool for Environmental Resources (DRB–WATER) and associated WATER application utilities: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2015–1196, 32 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20151196.

Year Published: 2015

Progress toward a National Water Census

Increasing demand and competition for limited regional water resources make it difficult to ensure adequate water availability for both human and ecological needs now and into the future. Recognizing the need to improve the tools and information that are available to effectively evaluate water-resource availability, the U.S. Geological Survey (...

Jones, Sonya A.
Jones, Sonya, 2015, Progress Toward a National Water Census: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2015–3045, 2 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/fs20153045. ISSN 2327-6932 (online)

Year Published: 2015

Digital surfaces and thicknesses of selected hydrogeologic units of the Floridan aquifer system in Florida and parts of Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina

Digital surfaces and thicknesses of selected hydrogeologic units of the Floridan aquifer system were developed to define an updated hydrogeologic framework as part of the U.S. Geological Survey Groundwater Resources Program. The dataset contains structural surfaces depicting the top and base of the aquifer system, its major and minor hydrogeologic...

Williams, Lester J.; Dixon, Joann F.
Williams, L.J. and Dixon, J.F., 2015, Digital Surfaces and Thicknesses of Selected Hydrogeologic Units of the Floridan Aquifer System in Florida and Parts of Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series Report 926, xx p.

Year Published: 2015

Revised hydrogeologic framework of the Floridan aquifer system in Florida and parts of Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina

The hydrogeologic framework for the Floridan aquifer system has been revised throughout its extent in Florida and parts of Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina. The updated framework generally conforms to the original framework established by the U.S. Geological Survey in the 1980s, except for adjustments made to the internal boundaries of the...

Williams, Lester J.; Kuniansky, Eve L.
Williams, L.J., and Kuniansky, E.L., 2016, Revised hydrogeologic framework of the Floridan aquifer system in Florida and parts of Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina (ver. 1.1, March 2016): U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1807, 140 p., 23 pls., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/pp1807.

Year Published: 2014

Estimated use of water in the United States in 2010

Water use in the United States in 2010 was estimated to be about 355 billion gallons per day (Bgal/d), which was 13 percent less than in 2005. The 2010 estimates put total withdrawals at the lowest level since before 1970. Freshwater withdrawals were 306 Bgal/d, or 86 percent of total withdrawals, and saline-water withdrawals were 48.3 Bgal/d, or...

Maupin, Molly A.; Kenny, Joan F.; Hutson, Susan S.; Lovelace, John K.; Barber, Nancy L.; Linsey, Kristin S.
Maupin, M.A., Kenny, J.F., Hutson, S.S., Lovelace, J.K., Barber, N.L., and Linsey, K.S., 2014, Estimated use of water in the United States in 2010: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1405, 56 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/cir1405.

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Date published: July 4, 2016

Water Use Site Retrieval - Lower Mississippi Gulf Arkansas

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.

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Water quality sampling at Bound Brook in Middlesex, NJ
June 20, 2018

June 2018 "People" category winner Molly Schreiner

Molly Schreiner water quality sampling at Bound Brook in Middlesex, NJ

Water quality sampling on Rappahannock River Cableway
June 5, 2018

June 2018 "Honorable Mention" winner Chelsea Nicole Delsack

Chris Mason (VAWSC) sampling on the Rappahannock River Cableway at Fredericksburg, VA.

aquarium
March 2, 2018

Atlanta Aquarium, Georgia

This million gallon aquarium in Atlanta, Georgia is home to thousands of saltwater fish, a couple of stingrays, giant grouper, and a whale shark!

December 31, 2017

Groundwater use from the Ozark Plateaus aquifer system, 1900 to 2010

Groundwater use from the Ozark Plateaus aquifer system, 1900 to 2010” is a short video showing modeled groundwater withdrawal rates from the Ozark Plateaus aquifer system (Ozark system) in the central United States. The Ozark Plateaus Groundwater Availability Study aims to quantify current groundwater resources in the Ozark system, evaluate how these resources have changed

...
July 31, 2017

Historic Context of the Continuous Slope Area Method

The Arizona Water Science Center details the history and development of the Continuous Slope-Area Method. Learn about the people and events that began these new advances in the field of stream gaging. 

Music Artist: Glenn Jones, “Bergen County Farewell”. CC License. Music provided by www.FreeMusicArchive.com

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Scientist standing in streamgaging platform hanging over a river.
March 23, 2017

Measuring the Colville River at Kettle Falls, WA

USGS Hydrologic Technician Kim Cesal measuring 3170 cfs at 12409000 Colville River at Kettle Falls, WA. This measurement is the highest made at the gaging site. The gage has been in operation since October 1922. The gage was installed to monitor flows from Meyer Falls Dam and Power Generation.

December 31, 2016

Historic USGS Streamgage on the Wabash River at Lafayette Indiana

This video will provide a brief history and purpose for one of the oldest streamgages in Indiana. The gage is at the Wabash River at Lafayette, Indiana. The site number is 03335500. This video was produced at the request of the West Lafayette Parks Department where this historic gage is located. A QR code is displayed on an interpretive plaque next to the gage which is

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December 1, 2016

New Breach Allows Flow on the Great Salt Lake

The new Great Salt Lake breach was opened on Dec. 1 by the Union Pacific Railroad Company. This created a new opening between the north and the south arm of the lake, allowing water to flow between the two sides. This time-lapse video shows the breach opening, which took about two hours. Before the new breach was opened, the north arm of the Great Salt Lake was at an

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Photo of the Colorado River near Moab, Utah
May 6, 2016

Colorado River Near Moab, Utah.

Water flowing on the Colorado River near Moab, Utah. 

The entire Colorado River Basin currently supports 50 million people, and that amount is expected to increase by 23 million between 2000 and 2030. A new USGS study shows more than half of the streamflow in the Upper Colorado River Basin originates as groundwater. 

Thermoelectric power plant with cooling towers, smokestacks, and transmission towers
April 9, 2016

Thermoelectric power plant Bowen owned by Georgia Power Company

Thermoelectric power plant Bowen owned by Georgia Power Company, from Highway 113, Euharlee, Bartow County, Georgia. Plant Bowen is one of the largest coal-fired power plants in the United States. Plant Bowen uses recirculating cooling, decreasing the amount of water that must be withdrawn.

A muddy river in the background flows into a clear river in the foreground.
August 31, 2014

The confluence of the Suiattle River (muddy river) into the Sauk River

The confluence of the Suiattle River (muddy river) into the Sauk River. 

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Date published: March 12, 2018

Media Advisory: Water Levels to be Measured in 1,300 Southern Idaho Wells

Data Will Provide a “Snapshot” of the Eastern Snake River Plain Aquifer

Date published: February 27, 2018

Reservoir Sediment Can be Used as Fracking Proppant

Instead of requiring costly dredging to remove sediment buildup behind water reservoirs and diversions, sediment from reservoirs in the Missouri River Basin could actually be used as fracking proppant feedstock, also known as frac sand, according to a recently published U.S. Geological Survey study

Date published: December 1, 2017

Hundreds of Biological Data Available for Fountain Creek Basin, Colorado 

The U.S. Geological Survey just added more than 800 fish and macroinvertebrate data samples from Fountain Creek, Colorado, to the USGS BioData Retrieval system.

Date published: November 1, 2017

New USGS Study Tracks Millions of Tons of Rocks, Gravel and Silt Carried by the Sauk River

TACOMA, Wash. — The U.S. Geological Survey recently published the results of a new five-year suspended-sediment and water temperature study from the Sauk River. The purpose of this study is to improve understanding of the magnitude and timing of suspended sediment from the Sauk River and its tributaries to the Skagit River.

Date published: September 14, 2017

New USGS Report Uncovers the Underground Geology Along the Rio Grande

A new U.S. Geological Survey report describes the below ground geology of the Rio Grande transboundary region of New Mexico and Texas, United States, and northern Chihuahua, Mexico.

Date published: June 16, 2017

USGS: High Plains Aquifer Groundwater Levels Continue to Decline

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.

Date published: April 5, 2017

USGS Assessment of Brackish Water Could Help Nation Stretch Limited Freshwater Supplies

New USGS assessment provides fresh insights into nation’s brackish groundwater inventory

Date published: March 8, 2017

Understanding Managed Aquifer Recharge as a Water Storage Option in the Pojoaque River Basin

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.

Date published: February 13, 2017

New USGS Map of High Plains Aquifer Represents Conditions After Enacting Changes To Agricultural Management Practices

Water-level changes from 2002 to 2015 were examined in wells screened in the High Plains aquifer within the Republican River Basin and the results are now available in a new U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map.

Date published: December 13, 2016

USGS Releases First Tool Since 1980s Assessing Water Availability in Northern High Plains Aquifer

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.

Date published: September 26, 2016

USGS Crews Continue to Measure Flooding in Eastern Iowa

Reporters: Do you want to accompany a USGS field crew as they measure flooding? Please contact Jason McVay at 319-430-6962.

Date published: September 23, 2016

USGS Crews Measure Flooding in Northeast Iowa

Reporters: Do you want to accompany a USGS field crew as they measure flooding? Please contact Jason McVay at 319-430-6962.