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A National Hazards, Risk, and Resilience Assessment Program

Ensuring the Long-Term Health and Wealth of the Nation

Image of flooded land

One mission of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is to work with our many partners to monitor, assess, and conduct targeted research on a wide range of natural hazards so that policymakers and the public have the understanding they need to enhance preparedness, response and resilience. The USGS Washington Water Science Center (WAWSC) supports this mission primarily through our data collection network and our hydrologic investigations program. Some of these activities are funded entirely by USGS, although most are funded through partnerships between the USGS, other federal agencies, state and local governments, and tribes.

The WAWSC's current data collection network includes more than 350 sites in Washington for acquiring information on surface water, groundwater, water quality, and precipitation. Nearly all streamflow data can be accessed real-time on the web, and those real-time data are key for flood and drought warning and response in the Pacific Northwest. Historical streamflow and groundwater data from thousands of sites in Washington State are also available on the web, and these data are regularly used in non-emergency situations to improve our nation's preparedness, response and resilience to floods and drought. Also soon after particularly large flood events, we locate and measure high-water marks and related post-flood data that allow us and our partners to better predict future floods.

Most current or recent hazard studies conducted by the WAWSC focus on the water-related hazards floods and droughts. For the Floodpath pilot study, we developed computer programs and web interfaces to allow us to do near-real-time simulations and internet-based delivery of forecast-flood inundation maps, wherein near-term National Weather Service weather forecast data can be used to generate maps of the expected flooding that include water depths and velocities. The StreamStats project created a Web-based Geographic Information System (GIS) application to provide users with access to an assortment of streamflow statistics, such as the size of the 100-year flood, for user-selected gaged or ungaged sites throughout the state. The application is used regularly by engineers for designing dams, bridges, and culverts with due consideration to expected flooding.

Many current and recent WAWSC studies that may primarily focus on water resource or ecosystem issues also touch on natural hazard issues. For example, the USGS is completing a geomorphic study of the Cedar River. This study paid particular attention to understanding the geomorphic response of the river under different magnitude/duration release scenarios for flood management. The results of the study will aid floodplain managers in their quest to minimize hazards while maintaining ecosystem functions such as salmon spawning and rearing. Many of our groundwater studies, such as that completed for the Yakima River basin, include evaluations of the effects of standby/reserve pumpage for crop irrigation on the sustainability of groundwater resources. This type of groundwater use is a primary response to a declared drought in Washington State.

Current and Recent Regional Hazards Studies Conducted by the Washington Water Science Center
Cedar River Peak Flow Management
Geomorphic and hydrologic study of peak-flow management on the Cedar River - Competed FY2013
Geomorphic Mapping, Dosewallips River
High Resolution Geomorphic Mapping of the Dosewallips River Using Remotely Sensed Data: Method Development - Completed FY2004
FEMA Technical Support
FEMA Technical Support, Pre-Declaration, January 2009 Floods - Completed FY2009
Green River Geomorphic Responses
Geomorphic Responses of the Middle Green River to Floods - Completed FY2008
Howard A. Hanson Reservoir
Estimating Runoff-Season Inflows to the Howard A. Hanson Reservoir, Green River - Completed FY2002
Honduras Flood Mapping
Flood-Hazard Mapping in Honduras by the USGS Washington Water Science Center - Completed FY2002
Evapotranspiration at Klamath Marsh and Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge
Estimating Evapotranspiration at Klamath Marsh, Oregon, and Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge, California - Completed FY1999
Nooksack Sediment
Nooksack Sediment Transport in the Nooksack Basin, Washington
Puget Hazards
Urban Hydrologic and Geologic Hazards in the Puget Sound Area - Completed FY2003
Mount Rainier Fluvial Geomorphology and River Sedimentation
Geomorphic Analysis of the Fluvial Response from Sedimentation Downstream from Mount Rainier, Washington - Completed FY2010

Flood-Carrying Capacity and Sedimentation Trends of the Lower Puyallup River System - Completed FY2012
Multispectral imaging, Puyallup River
The Integration of Multispectral Imaging and LIDAR to Evaluate the Geomorphic Changes Associated with a Levee Setback Along the Puyallup River, WA - Completed FY2005
Puyallup Flood Alert
Floodwater Monitoring and Simulation on the Puyallup River and Real-Time Flood Alert and Flood Simulation of River Discharges in the Puyallup River Basin - Completed FY2001
Floodpath project
FloodPath Forecast Flood Mapping System
South Prairie Creek
Flood Potential of South Prairie Creek - Completed FY1999
FEMA High Water Marks - Western Washington Flood, January 2009
Assessment of Flooding in Western Washington, January 2009 - Completed FY 2010
Flood Frequencies
Flood Frequencies in Washington - Completed FY1999

Magnitude and Frequency of Floods In Washington - Completed FY1974
Ground-Water Records
Collection of Basic Ground-Water Records, Washington
Hydrologic Urban Indicator
Hydrologic Indicators of Urban Development in Western Washington Streams - Completed FY2002
Precipitation Records
Collection of Basic Precipitation Records, Washington
Rain-on-Snow Events
Magnitude and Frequency of Water Available for Runoff During Rain-on-Snow Events at Selected Sites in Washington State - Completed FY1996
Surface-Water Records
Collection of Basic Surface-Water Records, Washington

Real-Time Hydrologic Data by Independent GOES Telemetry System in Washington - Completed FY1991

Compilation of Miscellaneous Streamflow Measurements in Washington - Completed FY1989

Streamflow Statistics and Drainage Basin Characteristics for the Southwestern and Eastern Regions, Washington - Completed FY1985

Low-Flow Analysis of Selected Streams In Washington - Completed FY1985

Streamflow Estimates for Small Streams in Washington - Completed FY1982

Flood Profiles - Completed FY1981

Re-evaluation of the surface-water gaging station network - Completed FY1978
Yakima Watershed and River Systems Management Program
Yakima Watershed and River System Management Program (WARSMP) - Completed FY2002

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Page Last Modified: Thursday, 15-Dec-2016 13:20:57 EST