Mission Areas

Water Resources

Water information is fundamental to 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, conduct targeted research, and deliver information on a wide range of water resources and conditions including streamflow, groundwater, water quality, and water use and availability.

USGS Water Data for the Nation

USGS Water Data for the Nation

Surface-water, groundwater, water-quality, and water-use data collected at approximately 1.9 million sites across all 50 states.

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Message from the Associate Director for Water

Message from the Associate Director for Water

Learn more about the WMA from Dr. Don Cline, the Associate Director for Water Resources.

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Popular Water Data and Tools

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

USGS Water Data for the Nation

Water Quality Portal

National Groundwater Monitoring Network Data Portal

WaterWatch

Groundwater Watch

MODFLOW

StreamStats

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News

Date published: January 21, 2021

Strontium in U.S. Groundwater Used for Drinking-Water Source

A new USGS study reports that about 2.3 percent of drinking-water wells in the U.S. have concentrations of strontium at levels that present a potential human health risk. These wells provide water for an estimated 2.3 million people.

Date published: January 19, 2021

New 3-D models predict pH conditions throughout the glacial aquifer system

A new 3-D model predicts pH in groundwater at all depths across the 25-state span of the glacial aquifer system, reports an article by the USGS. The glacial aquifer system provides more water—about 2.6 billion gallons per day—for domestic and public supplies than any other aquifer in the United States.

Date published: January 4, 2021

New USGS study identifies key factors affecting nitrate concentrations in stream base flow in Chesapeake Bay watershed

A new USGS study has identified factors that contribute to high nitrate in base flow in streams flowing into Chesapeake Bay. Land use, organic carbon in soils, and geology were among the most important factors affecting nitrate in stream base flow, based on data collected at 156 stream sites.

Publications

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Year Published: 2021

Microplastics in the Delaware River, northeastern United States

Microplastics are a contaminant of increasing concern in aquatic environments. Our understanding of microplastics in freshwater environments has increased dramatically over the past decade, but we still lack information on microplastic occurrence and biological uptake in National Park Service (NPS) waters. During 2015–19, the U.S. Geological...

Baldwin, Austin K.; Spanjer, Andrew R.; Hayhurst, Brett; Hamilton, Donald
Baldwin, A.K., Spanjer, A.R., Hayhurst, B., and Hamilton, D., 2021, Microplastics in the Delaware River, northeastern United States: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2020-3071, 4 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20203071.

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Year Published: 2021

Water-quality trends of urban streams in Independence, Missouri, 2005–18

The U.S. Geological Survey and the city of Independence, Missouri, Water Pollution Control Department has studied the water quality and ecological condition of urban streams within Independence since 2005. Selected physical properties, nutrients, chloride, fecal indicator bacteria (Escherichia coli and total coliform), total dissolved solids, and...

Barr, Miya N.; Kalkhoff, Stephen J.
Barr, M.N., and Kalkhoff, S.J., 2021, Water-quality trends of urban streams in Independence, Missouri, 2005–18: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2020–5130, 57 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20205130.

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Year Published: 2021

USGS permafrost research determines the risks of permafrost thaw to biologic and hydrologic resources

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in collaboration with university, Federal, Tribal, and independent partners, conducts fundamental research on the distribution, vulnerability, and importance of permafrost in arctic and boreal ecosystems. Scientists, land managers, and policy makers use USGS data to help make decisions for development, wildlife...

Waldrop, Mark P.; Anderson, Lesleigh; Dornblaser, Mark; Erikson, Li H.; Gibbs, Ann E.; Herman-Mercer, Nicole M.; James, Stephanie R.; Jones, Miriam C.; Koch, Joshua C.; Leewis, Mary-Cathrine; Manies, Kristen L.; Minsley, Burke J.; Pastick, Neal J.; Patil, Vijay; Urban, Frank; Walvoord, Michelle A.; Wickland, Kimberly P.; Zimmerman, Christian
Waldrop, M.P., Anderson, L., Dornblaser, M., Erikson, L.H., Gibbs, A.E., Herman-Mercer, N.M., James, S.R., Jones, M.C., Koch, J.C., Leewis, M.-C., Manies, K.L., Minsley, B.J., Pastick, N.J., Patil, V., Urban, F., Walvoord, M.A., Wickland, K.P., and Zimmerman, C., 2021, USGS permafrost research determines the risks of permafrost thaw to biologic and hydrologic resources: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2020-3058, 6 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20203058.