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National Water Census



Dept. of Interior WaterSMART activities


Dept. of Interior WaterSMART activities

Data & Products

The National Water Census Data Platform

A major component of the Water Census is the National Water Census Data Platform , which relies on a series of new data management practices to enable integration and delivery of water budgets information alongside other data of interest to managers, such as water use data or ecological assessment criteria. Eventually, end users of water budget data (i.e. management agencies and decision-makers) will be able to access an integrated online database in a form that will enable them to construct local and regional water budgets. Key components of the National Water Census Data Platform that are currently in development include:

A database of hydrologic indicators, addressing:


    • Precipitation
    • Evapotranspiration
    • Water in storage in snowpack, icefields, and large lakes
    • Groundwater level indices
    • Rates of groundwater recharge
    • Changes in groundwater storage
    • Stream and river runoff characteristics
    • Stream and river baseflow characteristics
    • Total water withdrawals by source
    • Interbasin transfers
    • Consumptive uses
    • Return flows
    • Impaired surface and groundwater supplies used for existing demands

A program for assessing flow needs for wildlife and habitat which will:


    • Classify the streams across the nation for their hydro-ecological type
    • Systematically examine the ecological effects of hydrologic alteration
    • Develop flow alteration – ecological response relationships for each type of river or stream

An application for delivering water availability information at scales that relevant to the user.


CDI posterPoster providing an overview of the National Water Census Data Platform (2015) (5 Mb PDF file)

Water Census & WaterSMART Products

National Water Census Products

Alley, W.M., Evenson, E.J., Barber, N.L., Bruce, B.W., Dennehy, K.F., Freeman, M.C., Freeman, W.O., Fischer, J.M., Hughes, W.B., Kennen, J.G., Kiang, J.E., Maloney, K.O., Musgrove, MaryLynn, Ralston, Barbara, Tessler, Steven, and Verdin J.P., 2013, Progress toward establishing a national assessment of water availability and use: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1384, 34 p. http://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/1384.

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.

2016

Topical Studies Products

Streamflow Estimates

Bock, A.R., L.E. Hay, G.J. McCabe, S.L. Markstrom, and R.D. Atkinson, 2016. Parameter regionalization of a monthly water balance model for the conterminous United States. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 20:2861-2876.

Bock, A.R., Hay, L.E., Markstrom, S.L., and Atkinson, R.D., 2016, Monthly Water Balance Model Hydrology Futures: U.S. Geological Survey data release, accessed June 2016, at http://dx.doi.org/10.5066/F7VD6WJQ.

Markstrom, S. L., Hay, L. E., and Clark, M. P., 2016. Towards simplification of hydrologic modeling: identification of dominant processes, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, doi:10.5194/hess-2015-508

Farmer, W. H.: Ordinary kriging as a tool to estimate historical daily streamflow records, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 2721-2735, doi:10.5194/hess-20-2721-2016, 2016.

Pugliese, A., W. H. Farmer, A. Castellarin, S. A. Archfield, R. M. Vogel, Regional flow duration curves: Geostatistical techniques versus multivariate regression, Advances in Water Resources, Volume 96, October 2016, Pages 11-22, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.advwatres.2016.06.008.

Evapotranspiration (ET)

Chen, M. , G.B. Senay, R.K Singh, and J.P. Verdin, 2016. Uncertainty analysis of the Operational Simplified Surface Energy Balance (SSEBop) model at multiple flux tower sites. Journal of Hydrology. 536: 384-399. doi:10.1016/j.rse.2015.12.043

Senay, G.B., M. Friedrichs, R.K. Singh, M.N. Velpuri, 2016. Generating Landsat 8-based evapotranspiration maps for water use estimation in the Colorado River Basin. Remote Sensing of Environment. doi:10.1016/j.rse.2015.12.043.

Water Use

Carter, J.M., Macek-Rowland, K.M., Thamke, J.N., Delzer, G.C., 2016, Estimating national water use associated with unconventional oil and gas development: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2016–3032, 6 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/fs20163032.

Groundwater

Fienen, M.N., Nolan, B.T., and Feinstein, D.T., 2016, Evaluating the sources of water to wells— three methods for metamodeling of a groundwater flow model: Environmental Modelling & Software, v. 77, pg. 95-107, doi:10.1016/j.envsoft.2015.11.023

Focus Area Studies Products

Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin

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.

Colorado River Basin

Clow, D.W., Williams, M.W., Schuster, P., 2016, Increasing aeolian dust deposition to snowpacks in the Rocky Mountains inferred from snowpack, wet deposition, and aerosol chemistry: Atmos. Environ., doi: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2016.06.076.

Miller, M. P., S. G. Buto, D. D. Susong, and C. A. Rumsey, 2016, The importance of groundwater in sustaining surface water flow in the Upper Colorado River Basin, Water Resour. Res (52) 3547-3562.

Sexstone, G.A., Clow, D.W., Stannard, D.I., and Fassnacht, S.R., 2016, Comparison of methods for quantifying surface sublimation over seasonally snow-covered terrain: Hydrol. Proc., doi: 10.1002/hyp.10864.

Delaware River Basin

Williamson T.N., Nystrom E.A., Milly P.C.D. 2016. Sensitivity of the projected hydroclimatic environment of the Delaware River basin to formulation of potential evapotranspiration. Climatic Change 139:215-228. DOI: 10.1007/s10584-016-1782-2.

Galbraith, H.S., Blakeslee, C.J., Cole, J.C., Talbert, C.A. and Maloney, K.O., 2016. Evaluating Methods to Establish Habitat Suitability Criteria: A Case Study in the Upper Delaware River Basin, USA. River Research and Applications.

Maloney, K.O., Cole, J.C., and Schmid, M., 2016, Predicting thermally stressful events in rivers with a strategy to evaluate management alternatives, 10 p., River Res. Applic. (2016), DOI: 10.1002/rra.2998 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/rra.2998/full

Stuckey, M.H.., and Ulrich, J.E., 2016, User’s Guide for the Delaware River Basin Streamflow Estimator Tool (DRB-SET): U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2015-1192, 6 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20151192.

2015

Senay, G.B., Friedrichs, MacKenzie, SIngh, R.K., and Velpun, N.M., 2015, Evaluating Landsat 8 evapotranspiration for water use mapping in the Colorado River Basin: Remote Sensing of the Environment, in press, available online http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2015.12.043

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.

Farmer, W.H., Archfield, S.A., Over, T.M., Hay, L.E., LaFontaine, J.H., and Kiang, J.E., 2014, A comparison of methods to predict historical daily streamflow time series in the southeastern United States: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2014-5231, 34 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir2014-5231

Topical Studies Products

Evapotranspiration (ET)

Moorhead, Jerry, Prasanna Gowda, Mike Hobbins, Gabriel Senay, George Paul, Thomas Marek, and Dana Porter, 2015. Accuracy Assessment of NOAA Gridded Daily Reference Evapotranspiration for the Texas High Plains. Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA) 1-10. DOI: 10.1111/1752-1688.12303.

Ji, L., G.B. Senay, J.P. Verdin, 2015. Evaluation of the Global Land Data Assimilation System (GLDAS) air temperature data products. Journal of Hydrometeorology.16: 2463-2480. DOI: 10.1175/JHM-D-14-0230.1.

Ecoflow

Caldwell, Kennen et al, A comparison of hydrologic models for ecological flows and water availability: Wiley Online Library -- Ecohydrology (PDF)

Groundwater

Fienen, M.N., Nolan, B.T., Feinstein, D.F., and Starn, J.J., 2015, Metamodels to bridge the gap between modeling and decision support: Groundwater, v. 53, no. 4, pg. 511-12, DOI: 10.1111/gwat.12339

Feinstein, D., Fienen, M., Reeves, H., and Langevin, C., 2015, A semi-structured MODFLOW-USG model to evaluate local water sources to wells for decision support: Groundwater, v. 54, no. 4, pg. 532-544, DOI: 10.1111/gwat.12389

Focus Area Studies Products

Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin

Painter, J.A., Torak, L.J., and Jones, J.W., 2015, Evaluation and comparison of methods to estimate irrigation withdrawal for the National Water Census Focus Area Study of the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin in southwestern Georgia: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2015-5118, 32.

Colorado River Basin

Bruce, B.W., Clow, D.W., Maupin, M.A., Miller, M.P., Senay, G.B., Sexstone, G.A., and Susong, D.D., 2015, U.S. Geological Survey National Water Census—Colorado River Basin Geographic Focus Area Study: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2015–3080, 4 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/fs20153080.

Miller, M.P., D.D. Susong, C.L. Shope, V.M. Heilweil, and B.J. Stolp (2015) A new approach for continuous estimation of baseflow using discrete water quality data: Method description and comparison with baseflow estimates from two existing approaches: Journal of Hydrology 522 (2015) 203–210 (PDF)

Rumsey, Christine A., Miller, Matthew P., Susong, David D., Tillman, Fred D., and Anning, David W., 2015, Regional scale estimates of baseflow and factors influencing baseflow in the Upper Colorado River Basin: Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies (PDF), Volume 4, Part B, September 2015, Pages 91-107., http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejrh.2015.04.008.

Delaware River Basin

Hutson, Susan S., Linsey, Kristin S., Ludlow, Russell A., Reyes, Betzaida, and Shourds, Jennifer L., 2015, Estimated Use of Water in the Delaware River Basin in Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania 2010: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2015-5142.

Maloney, K.O., C.B. Talbert, C.B., J.C. Cole, J.C., H.S. Galbraith, H.S., C.J. Blakeslee, C.J., L. Hanson, L., and C.L. Holmquist-Johnson, C.L. ., 2015. An integrated riverine environmental flow decision support system (REFDSS) to evaluate the ecological effects of alternative flow scenarios on river ecosystems. Fundamental and Applied Limnology/Archiv für Hydrobiologie 186:171-192. doi: 10.1127/fal/2015/0611

Stuckey Marla H., and Ulrich, James E., 2015, Estimation of Daily Mean Streamflows for Ungaged Locations in the Delaware River Basin, Water Years 1960-2010: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2015-5157.

Williamson, Tanja N., Lant, Jeremiah 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.

Williamson, Tanja N., Lant, Jeremiah G., Claggett, Peter, Nystrom, Elizabeth, Milly, Paul C.D., Nelson, Hugh, Hoffman, Scott, Colarullo, Susan, and Fischer, Jeffrey 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.

2014

Topical Studies Products

Streamflow Estimates

Farmer, W.H., Archfield, S.A., Over, T.M., Hay, L.E., LaFontaine, J.H., and Kiang, J.E., 2014, A comparison of methods to predict historical daily streamflow time series in the southeastern United States: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2014-5231, 34 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir2014-5231.

Evapotranspiration (ET)

Singh, R.K., G.B. Senay, M.N. Velpuri, S. Bohms, J. Verdin, 2014a. Actual Evapotranspiration (Water Use) Assessment of the Colorado River Basin at the Landsat Resolution using the Operational Simplified Surface Energy Balance Model. Remote Sensing, 6(1):233-256. doi:10.3390/rs6010233.

Singh, R.K.; G.B. Senay, N.M.Velpuri, S. Bohms, J.P. Verdin, 2014b. Downscaling of Actual Evapotranspiration Maps Based on Combination of MODIS and Landsat-Based Actual Evapotranspiration Estimates. Remote Sens. 6, 10483-10509.

Senay, G.B., P.H. Gowda, S. Bohms, T. Howell, M. Friedrichs, T. Marek, J.P. Verdin, 2014c. Evaluating the SSEBop Approach for Evapotranspiration Mapping with Landsat Data Using Lysimeteric Obsercations in the Semi-arid Texas High Plains. Hydrology and earth System Sciences (HESS). Hydr. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss, 11: 723-756.

Water Use

Diehl, T.H., and Harris, M.A., 2014, Withdrawal and Consumption of Water by Thermoelectric Power Plants in the United States, 2010: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2014-5184, 28 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20145184.

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.

Groundwater

Fienen, M.F., and Plant, Nathaniel, 2014, A cross-validation package driving Netica with Python: Environmental Modelling & Software, v. 63, p. 14-23, doi:10.1016/j.envsoft.2014.09.007

Focus Area Studies Products

Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin

Clarke, J.S., and Painter, J.A., 2014, Influence of septic systems on stream base flow in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin near Metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia, 2012: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2014-5144, 68 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20145144.

Garcia, A., Masbruch, M.D., and Susong, D.D., 2014, Geospatial database of estimates of groundwater discharge to streams in the Upper Colorado River Basin, U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 851, 6 p. http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ds851

Miller, M.P., D.D. Susong, C.L. Shope, V.M. Heilweil, and B.J. Stolp (2014) Continuous estimation of baseflow in snowmelt-dominated steams and rivers in the Upper Colorado River Basin: A chemical hydrograph separation approach, Water Resour. Res., 50, doi:10.1002/2013WR014939

Singh, R.K., G.B. Senay, N.M. Velpuri, S. Bohms, R.L. Scott, and J.P. Verdin, 2014.  Actual Evapotranspiration (Water Use) Assessment of the Colorado River Basin at the Landsat Resolution using the Operational Simplified Surface Energy Balance Model. Remote Sensing, 2014, 6(1):233-256. doi:10.3390/rs6010233. 

Singh, R.K.;  G.B. Senay,  N.M.Velpuri,  S. Bohms,  J.P. Verdin, 2014. On the Downscaling of Actual Evapotranspiration Maps Based on Combination of MODIS and Landsat-Based Actual Evapotranspiration Estimates. Remote Sens. 2014, 6, 10483-10509.

Delaware River Basin

Cole, J.C., K.O. Maloney, M. Schmid, and J.E. McKenna. 2014. Developing and testing temperature models for regulated systems: a case study on the upper Delaware River. Journal of Hydrology 519:588-598.

Talbert, C., K.O. Maloney, C. Holmquist-Johnson, and L. Hanson, 2014. User’s manual for the Upper Delaware River Riverine Environmental Flow Decision Support System (REFDSS). Open-file Report 2014–1183. Reston, VA: U.S. Geological Survey. 23 p.

2013

Alley, W.M., Evenson, E.J., Barber, N.L., Bruce, B.W., Dennehy, K.F., Freeman, M.C., Freeman, W.O., Fischer, J.M., Hughes, W.B., Kennen, J.G., Kiang, J.E., Maloney, K.O., Musgrove, MaryLynn, Ralston, Barbara, Tessler, Steven, and Verdin J.P., 2013, Progress toward establishing a national assessment of water availability and use: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1384, 34 p. http://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/1384

Topical Studies Products

Streamflow Estimates

Archfield, S. A., Kennen, J. G., Carlisle, D. M., & Wolock, D. M. (2013). An Objective and Parsimonious Approach for Classifying Natural Flow Regimes at a Continental Scale. River Research and Applications. [Journal Article]

Kiang, J.E., Stewart, D.W., Archfield, S.A., Osborne, E.B., and Eng, Ken, 2013, A national streamflow network gap analysis: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2013-5013, 79 p. plus one appendix as a separate file, http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2013/5013/.

Evapotranspiration (ET)

Senay, Gabriel B., Stefanie Bohms, Ramesh K. Singh, Prasanna H. Gowda, Naga M. Velpuri, Henok Alemu, James P. Verdin. 2013. Operational Evapotranspiration Mapping Using Remote Sensing and Weather Datasets: A New Parameterization for the SSEB Approach. Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA). 49(3):577-591 [Journal Abstract]

Velpuri, N. M., G.B. Senay, R.K. Singh, S. Bohms and J.P. Verdin, 2013. A comprehensive evaluation of two MODIS evapotranspiration products over the conterminous United States: Using point and gridded FLUXNET and water balance ET, Remote Sensing of Environment, 139, 35-49, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2013.07.013, 2013.

Velpuri, NM. and G.B. Senay, 2013. Analysis of long-term trends (1950–2009) in precipitation, runoff and runoff coefficient in major urban watersheds in the United States. Environ. Res. Lett. 8 (2): 024020.

Savoca, M.E., G.B. Senay, M.A. Maupin, J.F. Kenny, and C.A. Perry, 2013, Actual evapotranspiration modeling using the operational Simplified Surface Energy Balance (SSEBop) approach: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2013-5126, 16 p., http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2013/5126.

Water Use

Diehl, T.H., Harris, M.A., Murphy, J.C., Hutson, S.S., and Ladd, D.E., 2013, Methods for estimating water consumption for thermoelectric power plants in the United States: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2013-5188, 78 p. http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2013/5188/

Levin, S.B., and Zarriello, P.J., 2013, Estimating irrigation water use in the humid eastern United States: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2013-5066, 32 p., http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2013/5066/

Groundwater

Callegary, J.B., Kikuchi, C.P., Koch, J.C., Lilly, M.R., Leake, S.L., 2013, Review: Groundwater in Alaska: Hydrogeology Journal, Vol. 21, Issue 1, pp 25-39. Invited submission to special issue on cold-region hydrology. [Journal Abstract]

2012

Groundwater

Kahle, S.C. and Futornick, Z.O., 2012, Bibliography of groundwater resources of the glacial aquifer systems in Washington, Idaho, and northwestern Montana, 1905-2011: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2012-1053, 32 p. http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2012/1053/

Focus Area Studies Products

Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin

Gordon, D.W., Peck, M.F., and Painter, J.A., 2012, Hydrologic and water-quality conditions in the lower Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint and parts of the Aucilla-Suwanee-Ochlockonee River basins in Georgia and adjacent parts of Florida and Alabama during drought conditions, July 2011: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2012-5179, 69 p. http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2012/5179/

Colorado River Basin

Bruce, B.W., 2012, WaterSMART-The Colorado River Basin focus-area study: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2012-3114, 6 p. http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2012/3114/

Clow, D.W., Nanus, L., Verdin, K.L., Schmidt, J., 2012. Evaluation of SNODAS snow depth and snow water equivalent estimates for the Colorado Rocky Mountains, USA. Hydrological Processes 26, 2583-2591.

2011

Water Use

Dickens, J.M., Forbes, B.T., Cobean, D.S., and Tadayon, Saeid, 2011, Documentation of methods and inventory of irrigation data collected for the 2000 and 2005 U.S. Geological Survey Estimated use of water in the United States, comparison of USGS-compiled irrigation data to other sources, and recommendations for future compilations: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2011-5166, 60 p. http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2011/5166/



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