Water Resources of the United States


National Water Information System

View current and historical streamflow, ground-water level, and water-quality data

Today's Water Conditions

View comparisons of current and historical conditions using maps
Click map to go to current water resources conditions in the U.S.



USGS Water Science Centers are located in each state

Education — Learn About Water

Water Basics

Selected Products of Educational Interest

The following online resources highlight popular USGS publications.

USGS Publications Warehouse—Find historic, technical, and popular publications in the searchable database of over 69,000 USGS maps, books, and other publications.

USGS Library—The largest earth science library in the world... providing information to other organizations and individuals in the areas of geology, hydrology, cartography, biology, and related fields.



  • Floods and Flood Plains—This easy-to-understand fact sheet describes why floods occur and discusses the basics about flood-plain designation.
  • Large Floods in the United States: Where They Happen and Why—This publication describes the geographic and climatic factors that influence the occurrence and impacts of large floods in the United States.
  • The 100-Year Flood— What is a 100-year flood and why don't these floods happen every 100 years? This simple fact sheet describes the statistics behind the designation and explains why regular measurements are essential.


  • Drought—This fact sheet defines and explains the drier-than-normal conditions that result in water-related problems.


Water Quality

Water Use

Multimedia Resources

Science Lectures

  • USGS Online Lectures - Hydrology—A compilation of selected videotaped lectures made at the USGS. All of these lectures should be suitable for a viewing audience ranging from the general public to undergraduate-level students.
  • USGS Water Resources Seminar Series—Video archive (2003 to present) of lectures given at the USGS offices in Menlo Park, California, on a variety of water-related topics. Most of these lectures are designed for a technical, scientific audience.
  • An Overview of the USGS Upper Midwest Environmental Science Center in Wisconsin—Video of scientists at work in the office, lab, and field. Many of them describe the kind of work they do in the Great Lakes area and Mississipi River Basin and why it's important.

Lakes and Coastal Areas



Water Quality

  • North Carolina Water Sampling Activities—Numerous 10- to 30-second video clips showing scientists at work sampling in the Albemarle-Pamlico drainage basin in North Carolina and Virginia. Water-quality sampling, macroinvertebrate sampling, and more.

Water Use

Additional USGS Multimedia Resources

  • USGS CoreCast—CoreCast brings you straight science insight on natural hazards, climate change, satellite imagery and monitoring, water quality, human health and wildlife disease, and much more. Tune into CoreCast. It's natural science from the inside out.
  • USGS Videos and Animation


Other Water Education Resources of Interest

USGS Home Water Climate Change Science Systems Ecosystems Energy, Minerals, & Env. Health Hazards USGS Intranet

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