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Water Resources of the United States

Quantifying, Forecasting, and Securing Freshwater for America's Future

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One mission of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is to collect, interpret, and provide access to a variety of information needed to understand and manage the Nation's water resources. The USGS Washington Water Science Center (WAWSC) supports this mission 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, aas can continuous water-quality data from about 65 sites and groundwater data from 4 sites. All of our historical streamflow, water-quality, and groundwater data from thousands of sites in Washington State are also available on the web; as are comprehensive statewide water-use data for every fifth year from 1985 to 2005.

Although all studies in the WAWSC's hydrologic investigations program are somehow related to water, the focus for many of our current or recent studies is groundwater availability and the interaction between groundwater and surface-water resources. These topics are a high priority for both the Nation and the people of Washington State. In the Puget Sound region, groundwater resources in many watersheds are thought to be stressed due to water withdrawals for municipal, domestic, and other uses. These groundwater withdrawals may be affecting senior surface-water rights in some basins. In some parts of eastern Washington, pumping for agricultural irrigation has removed groundwater from the basalt aquifers at rates that have resulted in water-level declines of up to 300 feet, placing important agricultural sectors at risk and measurably reducing streamflows and wetlands. Across the state, groundwater contributions to rivers and streams are critical for sustaining the cool and adequate summer and fall streamflows needed for successful salmonid spawning and rearing, and these contributions can be decreased by too much pumping. Overall, there is an uncertain future water supply for people and ecosystems.

The WAWSC provides sophisticated hydrologic analyses to better assess water availability across Washington State. The studies we do include:

The data and models that result from these studies are used by regulators, planners, and water suppliers to better coordinate management of our limited water resources to provide adequate water for humans and ecosystems.

Current and Recent Water Resource Studies Conducted by the Washington Water Science Center
Bainbridge Island Model
Characterization and Numerical Simulation of the Water Resources on Bainbridge Island, Kitsap County - Completed FY2011

Preliminary Evaluation of the Ground-Water Resources of Bainbridge Island - Completed FY1987
Bellevue Urban Runoff
Bellevue Urban Runoff Study - Completed FY1986
Cascade-Sierra Snow Chemistry
Atmospheric Deposition in Snow of the Cascade-Sierra-San Gabriel-San Bernadino Mountains - Completed FY1989
NCCN Critical Loads
Developing Critical Loads for Atmospheric Deposition of Inorganic Nitrogen to North Coast and Cascades Network Lakes - Completed FY2011
Cedar River Peak Flow Management
Geomorphic and hydrologic study of peak-flow management on the Cedar River - Competed FY2013
Cedar River Watershed
The Preparation of a Workplan to Develop and Refine New Approaches to Assess Stream Ecosystem Conditions within the Cedar River Watershed, Washington - Completed FY2001

Cedar River Watershed Water-Quality Assessment - Completed FY2001
Chambers-Clover Model
Characterization and Numerical Simulation of the Water Resources in the Chambers-Clover Creek Watershed, Pierce County, Washington - Completed FY2011
Chamokane Framework and Model
Characterization and Numerical Simulation of the Water Resources in the Chamokane Creek Basin, Stevens County - Competed FY2012
Chehalis Watershed
Data Analysis and Watershed Characterization, Chehalis River Basin, Washington - Completed FY2011

Data Compilation, Collection, and Evaluation in Support of the Characterization of the Water Resources of the Chehalis River Basin, Washington - Completed FY2011

Potential Scope of Work to Assess the Water Resources of the Chehalis River Basin - Completed FY2008
Clallam County Water Resources
Water Resources of Developed Areas of Clallam County - Completed FY1983
Central Columbia Plateau - Yakima River Basin NAWQA
National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA), Central Columbia Plateau-Yakima River Basin
Columbia Basin Irrigation
Collection of Pesticide Data in Columbia Basin Irrigation Project Return Flows - Completed FY2004

[Department of the Interior] Irrigation Drainage Reconnaissance Study of the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project - Completed FY1995

Columbia Basin Irrigation Project, Mass Measurement 1983 - Completed FY1983

Recharge and Ground-Water Storage in Parts of Grant and Adams Counties - Completed FY1973
Columbia Plateau
Ground-Water Pumpage and Water Levels in the Columbia Plateau - Completed FY1987

Crop Water Determination Through Remote Sensing - Completed FY1986

Ground-Water Hydrology and Development in East-Central Washington - Completed FY1986

Use of LANDSAT Imagery to Define the Distribution and Rate of Water Use - Completed FY1985

Distribution of Dissolved Sodium in the Ground Water of the Columbia River Plateau, Washington - Completed FY1985

Coarse-grid Model of Ground Water in the Columbia River Basalts - Completed FY1983

Artificial Recharge of Coumbia River Basalt - Completed FY1982

Artificial Recharge of Columbia River Basalt - Completed FY1972
Columbia Plateau RASA
Columbia Plateau Regional Aquifer Systems Analysis (RASA) Project - Completed FY1999
Colville No Name Creek Study
Water Resources of No Name Creek Valley, Colville Indian Reservation - Completed FY1978

Water Resources of the Colville Indian Reservation - Completed FY1973
Cook and McCalla Basins
Watershed Analysis of the Cook and McCalla Basins - Completed FY1995
Lake Crescent
Nearshore Effects of Residential Wastewater-Influenced Groundwater on Lake Crescent - Completed FY2011

Lake Crescent Nutrient Budget - Completed FY2008

USGS Technical Assistance for Water-Quality Microbiology, Lake Crescent, Olympic National Park - Completed FY2006
Geomorphic Mapping, Dosewallips River
High Resolution Geomorphic Mapping of the Dosewallips River Using Remotely Sensed Data: Method Development - Completed FY2004
Dungeness
Relation Between the Dungeness River and the Shallow Aquifer in the Sequim-Dungeness Area, Clallam County, Washington - Completed FY2002

Hydrogeologic Assessment of the Dungeness River Basin - Completed FY1999

Aquifer Delineation in the Dungeness River Basin - Completed FY1995
Highway Storm-Water Detention
Effects of Highway Storm-Water Retention Basins on Ground-Water Quality, Dupont - Completed FY2001
Duwamish River Estuary
Flux of Toxicants Through the Duwamish Estuary to Puget Sound - Completed FY1979

The Influence of Industrial and Municipal Wastes in Estuarine and Offshore Waters - Completed FY1977

Flow Patterns in the Duwamish Estuary - Completed FY1972
Eastbank Aquifer near Rocky Reach Dam
Assessment of Ground-Water Temperatures near Rocky Reach Dam, Douglas County - Completed FY2008
Elwha River
Transport of Suspended Sediment and Its Effect on Aquatic Habitat in the Elwha River, Olympic National Park - Completed FY2005

Development of a Continuous, Real-Time Suspended-Sediment Monitoring System and Its Evaluation in the Elwha River, Washington - Completed FY2005

Evaluation of Current Ecological Conditions with Respect to Nutrient Dynamics in the Elwha River, Olympic National Park - Completed FY1999
Elwha River Sediment Monitoring
Elwha River Restoration Project: the Dynamics and Downstream Impacts of Fine Sediments Released After Dam Removal
Elwha River and Morse Creek Watershed
Water Resources Inventory of the Elwha River and Morse Creek Watershed - Completed FY2000
Lower Elwha Reservation Water Resources
Water Resources of the Lower Elwha Indian Reservation - Completed FY1979
Enloe Reservoir Sediment Flushing
Flushing of Reservoir Sediment Deposits Through the Similkameen-Okanogan River Systems - Completed FY1972
Gig Harbor Water Resources
Water Resources of the Gig Harbor Peninsula, Pierce County - Completed FY1981
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
Hoh Reservation Water Resources
Water Resources of the Hoh Indian Reservation - Completed FY1985
Hood Canal
Estimating Ground-Water Discharge and Nitrogen Loading in Hood Canal, Washington - Completed FY2011

Studies Addressing Low Concentrations of Dissolved Oxygen in Hood Canal - Completed FY2004
Metropolitan Small Basin Runoff Models
Rainfall-Runoff Models for Small Basins in Metropolitan Areas of Western Washington - Completed FY1989
Pine Lake Hydrology
General Hydrology and External Nutrient Sources of Pine Lake, King County, Washington - Completed FY1983
Raging River Temperature
Raging River Temperature and Groundwater/Surface-Water Interactions
Urban Pesticide
Pesticide Toxicity in Urban Streams, King County - Completed FY2004
Kitsap Groundwater Model
Characterization and Numerical Simulation of the Groundwater Resources on the Kitsap Peninsula, Kitsap, Mason, and Pierce Counties, Washington
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
May Creek Sediment Discharge
Sediment Discharge in May Creek Basin, King County - Completed FY1983
Methow River Basin
Surface-Water Hydrology in the Methow River Basin - Completed FY2003

The Unconsolidated Aquifer and Its Interaction with Surface Water - Completed FY2003

Monitoring Water Resources and Simulating Water Management Alternatives - Completed FY2003

Analyzing Aquifer and Streamflow Characteristics for Artificial Recharge in the Methow River Basin - Completed FY2003
Mid-Columbia Habitat
Mapping Inactive Side Channels for Habitat Protection and Enhancement of Tributaries in the Mid-Columbia River Basin - Completed FY2008
Mount St. Helens
Retrospective Analysis of Processes Affecting the Water Quality Due to the Eruption of Mount St. Helens - Completed FY1987
Muckleshoot Reservation Water Resources
Water Resources of the Colville Indian Reservation - Completed FY1983

Water Resources of the Muckleshoot Indian Reservation - Completed FY1973
Nooksack River Ground-Water Bacteria
Transport and Fate of Bacterial and Nitrate Contamination in Ground Water of the Lower Nooksack River Basin - Completed FY2005
Water Resources Inventory Area 1 Watershed Management
Water-Quantity Analysis of Water Resources Inventory Area 1, Nooksack River Basin- Part 1: Data Assessment - Completed FY2001
Coal Transport
USGS Pilot Study to Assess Ecosystem Effects of Increased Coal Transport Across the Northwest Region
GW/SW Interactions
Interactions between Ground Water and Surface Water in Alluvial Rivers of the Pacific Northwest - Completed FY2004
Long Beach Ground Water
Water-Table Altitudes and Water Quality in the Shallow Aquifer of Long Beach Peninsula, Washington - Completed FY1995
Pacific Northwest Tribal Water Resources
Pacific Northwest Tribal Water Resources Technical Assessment - Completed FY2005
Coast Salish Canoe Journey
Coast Salish - U.S. Geological Survey Tribal Water Quality in the Puget Sound - Competed FY2011
Coastal Habitats in Puget Sound (CHIPS)
USGS Web Page for the Coastal Habitats in Puget Sound (CHIPS) Program to Provide the Science Needed to Restore and Preserve Puget Sound
Linking Sources to the Sound
Primary Sources and Transport Mechanisms of Toxic Chemicals in Puget Sound - Completed FY2011
Puget Parks
Persistent Organic Pollution and Heavy Metals in Glacial-Fed Lakes and Aquatic Biota in National Parks and Forests of the Puget Sound Basin - Completed FY2004
Puget Sound Basin NAWQA
National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA), Puget Sound Basin
Puget Sound Naval Shipyard
Ground-Water Flow in the Vicinity of Dry Docks at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard - Completed FY1998
Puget Sound-Willamette Trough
Puget Sound-Willamette Trough Regional Aquifer System Analysis (RASA) - Completed FY2001
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
Puyallup Indian Reservation
Trends in Streamflow in the Lower Puyallup River Basin, and Comparisons to Instream Flows and Water Use - Completed FY2004

Water Resources of the Lower Puyallup River Basin - Completed FY1987

Puyallup river Food Capacity Study - Completed FY1985

Puyallup River Basin
Puyallup River TMDL Monitoring - Completed FY2002
Quilcene Bay
Evaluation of Potential Hydrologic Effects of Future Ground-Water Withdrawals in the Chimacum Creek Basin, Jefferson County, WA - Completed FY2011

Hydrologic Assessment of the Quilcene Bay Area and Chimacum Creek Basin, WRIA 17, Jefferson County - Completed FY2004
Quileute Reservation Water Resources
Water resources of the Quileute Indian Reservation and Quillayute River Basin - Completed FY1983
Quinault Indian Reservation
Channel and Floodplain Processes, Quinault Indian Reservation - Completed FY2002

Watershed Analysis of the Quinault River Basin - Completed FY1999

Investigation of the Availability of Improved Source of Ground-Water Supply For Taholah, Quinault Indian Reservation - Completed FY1985
Lake Roosevelt-Upper Columbia River
Interdisciplinary investigation of the occurrence and potential impacts of slag on Lake Roosevelt white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus)

The Effects of Trace Elements on Water Quality and Biological Health in the Lake Roosevelt National Recreational Area: Columbia River - Completed FY2006

Occurrence And Distribution of Trace Elements In Air Along Lake Roosevelt: A Pilot Study - Completed FY2006

Assessment of Trace-Element Concentrations in Sediment Cores and Rates of Sediment Accumulation in Franklin D. Roosevelt Lake - Completed FY2004

Occurrence and Distribution of Trace Elements in Lake Beach and Bank Sediments - Completed FY2003

Development of a Sediment Quality Program for the Upper Columbia River and Lake Roosevelt - Completed FY1999

Organochlorine Compounds and Mercury in Fish Tissue from Lake Roosevelt and the Upper Columbia River - Completed FY1999

Bioaccumulation of Mercury in Walleye, FDR Lake, Washington - Completed FY1997

Toxics-Related Water Quality of Lake Roosevelt, Washington - Completed FY1995
RSMP
Regional Stormwater Monitoring Program
Salmon River Watershed Analysis
Salmon River Watershed Analysis - Completed FY2003
Sammamish River Basin
Water Quality of the Sammamish River, King County - Completed FY2002
Satus Creek
Restoration Monitoring of Satus Creek and the Satus Wildlife Area, Yakama Nation Reservation - Completed FY2004
Shoalwater Bay Water Resources
Water Resources of the Shoalwater Indian Reservation - Completed FY1983
Sources of Mercury in Sinclair Inlet
Potential Sources of Mercury in Sinclair Inlet (Operable Unit B, Marine, Bremerton Naval Complex) - Competed FY2013
Skagit Ground Water Model
Potential Effects of Increased Ground-Water Withdrawals on Streamflows in the Lower Skagit River Basin, Skagit County, Washington - Completed FY2010
Goat Lake Watershed
Background Water Quality of Goat Lake Watershed, Snohomish County - Completed FY1993
Lake Spokane Nutrients
Groundwater non-point source input of phosphorus to Lake Spokane, Washington - Phase 2

Groundwater non-point source input of phosphorus to Lake Spokane, Washington - Completed FY2016
Spokane Valley - Rathdrum Prairie
Spokane Valley - Rathdrum Prairie Hydrologic Study - Completed FY2007

Spokane-Rathdrum Prairie Sole-Source Aquifer Study, Washington and Idaho - Completed FY1978
Stillaguamish Emerging Contaminants
Emerging contaminants in wastewater effluents in the Stillaguamish Watershed
Stillaguamish Reservation Water Resources
Stillaguamish Instream SW-GW - Completed FY1986
Sumas River Sediment Load
Assessment of Transport and Deposition of Asbestos-Rich Sediment along Swift Creek and the Sumas River, Whatcom County, Washington
Thurston County GW
Conceptual and Numerical Models of the Ground-Water System of Thurston County - Completed FY1999
Water Resources of the Tulalip Indian Reservation
Water Resources of the Tulalip Indian Reservation, Snohomish County - Completed FY2004

Water Resources of the Tulalip Indian Reservation - Completed FY1979
Vancouver Lake Nutrient
Developing a Water and Nutrient Budget for Vancouver Lake - Competed FY2014
Makah Reservation Water Resources
Water Resources of the Makah Indian Reservation - Completed FY1980

Salmon propagation in Ozette Lake - Completed FY1978
Ground-Water Pesticide
Development of Methods to Assess the Vulnerability of Ground Water to Pesticide Contamination in Washington State - Completed FY2003
Hydrologic Urban Indicator
Hydrologic Indicators of Urban Development in Western Washington Streams - Completed FY2002
NWIFC Water Assessment
Tribal Assessment of Water Resources in Western Washington - Completed FY2011
Precipitation Records
Collection of Basic Precipitation Records, Washington
Sediment Records
Collection of Basic Sediment Records, Washington
WSDOT Stormwater Monitoring
Assessment of Washington State Department of Transportation Stormwater Monitoring Program - Completed FY2009
Washington Lakes
Classification of Washington Lakes with Reconnaissance Data - Completed FY1983

Hydrology of Lakes - Completed FY1978
Water-Quality Records
Collection of Basic Water-Quality Records, Washington

Ground-Water Quality Network for the State of Washington - Completed FY1986
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP)
EPA Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP), Benthic invertebrates in the Western United States - Completed FY2004
Lake Whatcom
Elevated Levels of Mercury in Lake Whatcom Fish - Completed FY2004
Whatcom County
Study of Fumigant-Derived Compounds in Shallow Ground Water, Whatcom Co., WA - Completed FY1999

Ground-Water Resources of Portions of the Lower Nooksack and Upper Sumas River Basins - Completed FY1992
White River Bioenergetics
White River Salmon Habitat and Energetics Model
White River Videography
Habitat Identification for the Upper White River Using Multispectral Imaging - Completed FY2002
Yakima Gap Bathymetry
Bathymetry and Near-River Topography of the Naches and Yakima Rivers at Union Gap and Selah Gap, Yakima County, Washington, August 2008
Yakima River Basin
Ground Water in the Yakima River Basin, Washington, and its Relation to the Surface-Water Resource - Completed FY2011

Yakima Gasoline and Diesel Spill Study - Completed FY1987

Areal Variability of Water Quality Within the Yakima River Basin - Completed FY1986

Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project - Completed FY1986

Water in the lower Yakima River Basin - Completed FY1983
Yakima River Temperature Model
Development of Water-Temperature Models for Main-Stem Reaches of the Yakima and Naches Rivers, Washington - Completed FY2007

Streamflow Temperature Model of the Yakima River - Completed FY1982

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