Water Resources Programs
The USGS manages water information at offices located throughout the United States. Although all offices are tied together through a nationwide computer network, each collects data and conducts studies in a particular area. Local information is best found at these sites.
USGS Programs Managed by the Water Resources Discipline
- Cooperative Water Program
Conducts data collection and investigations that form the foundation for water-resources management and planning activities nationwide, through partnerships with over 1,000 State and local agencies.
- National Streamflow Information Program (NSIP)
Implements the USGS plan to ensure reliable and consistent acquisition and delivery of streamflow information at key sites.
- National Water-Quality Assessment Program (NAWQA)
Provides an understanding of water-quality of the Nation's surface water and groundwater and how those conditions may vary locally, regionally, and nationally; whether conditions are getting better or worse over time; and how water quality is affected by natural features and human activities.
- Groundwater Resources Program
Provides research and information for groundwater sustainability and ties to human and environmental needs.
- Hydrologic Research and Development
Conducts basic and problem-oriented research into varied and complex hydrologic processes that are not well understood.
- State Water Resources Research Institute Program
Supports water resources research, education, and information transfer at the 54 university-based State Water Resources Research Institutes, through the use of matching grants.
- Hydrologic Networks and Analysis (HNA)
Includes the Federal core of the USGS water-quality networks, a variety of research and investigations, and a portion of USGS information storage, coordination, and dissemination efforts, including the National Water Information System.
- Water Information Coordination Program (WICP)
Ensures the availability of cost effective water information required to make effective decisions for natural resources management and environmental protection.
- Drinking-Water Research Topics
Conducts a wide range of monitoring, assessment, and research activities in collaboration with Federal, State, Tribal, and local agencies to help understand and protect the quality of drinking-water resources.
- National Stream Quality Accounting Network (NASQAN)
Focuses on the water quality of four of the Nation's largest river systems—the Mississippi (including the Missouri and Ohio), the Columbia, the Colorado, and the Rio Grande.
- Hydrologic Benchmark Network (HBN)
Provides long-term measurements of streamflow and water quality in pristine areas, to serve as a baseline and control for distinguishing natural from artificial changes in other streams.
- National Atmospheric Deposition Program/National Trends Network (NADP/NTN)
Monitors precipitation chemistry at about 200 sites nationwide.
- National Water-Use Program
Examines the withdrawal, use, and return flow of water on local, State, and national levels.
- USGS Environmental Affairs Program
Provides estimates of the Nation’s water use since 1950.
- National Water Census
An initiative to provide a nationwide assessment of water availability and use. Information will be provided on components of the water budget, on water use, and ecological flow estimation. Regional Groundwater Studies will be expanded.
- International Water Activities
Activities of the USGS International Water Resources Branch