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USGS Groundwater Information

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USGS Groundwater Watch

USGS maintains a network of active wells to provide basic statistics about groundwater levels.

 [Image: USGS active water level wells location map.]

USGS in Your State

USGS Water Science Centers are located in each state.

 [Map: There is a USGS Water Science Center office in each State.] Washington Oregon California Idaho Nevada Montana Wyoming Utah Colorado Arizona New Mexico North Dakota South Dakota Nebraska Kansas Oklahoma Texas Minnesota Iowa Missouri Arkansas Louisiana Wisconsin Illinois Mississippi Michigan Indiana Ohio Kentucky Tennessee Alabama Pennsylvania West Virginia Georgia Florida Caribbean Alaska Hawaii and Pacific Islands New York Vermont New Hampshire Maine Massachusetts South Carolina North Carolina Rhode Island Virginia Connecticut New Jersey Maryland-Delaware-D.C.

Groundwater and Surface-Water Interactions

Traditionally, management of water resources has focused on surface water or ground water as if they were separate entities. As development of land and water resources increases, it is apparent that development of either of these resources affects the quantity and quality of the other. Nearly all surface-water features (streams, lakes, reservoirs, wetlands, and estuaries) interact with ground water. These interactions take many forms. In many situations, surface-water bodies gain water and solutes from ground-water systems and in others the surface-water body is a source of ground-water recharge and causes changes in ground-water quality. As a result, withdrawal of water from streams can deplete ground water or conversely, pumpage of ground water can deplete water in streams, lakes, or wetlands. Pollution of surface water can cause degradation of ground-water quality and conversely pollution of ground water can degrade surface water. Thus, effective land and water management requires a clear understanding of the linkages between ground water and surface water as it applies to any given hydrologic setting.

- Robert M. Hirsch, Chief Hydrologist, USGS
From USGS Circular 1139: Ground Water And Surface Water: A Single Resource

Selected Publications

USGS Web sites


  • GSFLOW: A New Model for Simulation of Ground-Water and Surface-Water Interaction
  • MODBRNCH: Groundwater/Surface-Water Coupled Flow Model using USGS MODFLOW and BRANCH Models
  • MODFLOW/DAFLOW: Groundwater/Surface-Water Coupled Flow Model using USGS MODFLOW and DAFLOW Models
  • HSPF STRMDEPL routine: A Precipitation-Runoff Model for Analysis of the Effects of Water Withdrawals on Streamflow, Ipswich River Basin, Massachusetts (USGS WRIR 00-4029)
  • PULSE: Model-Estimated Ground-Water Recharge and Hydrograph of Ground-Water Discharge to a Stream
  • PART: A computerized method of base-flow-record estimation
  • RECESS: A method for analysis of streamflow recession
  • RORA: The recession-curve-displacement method for estimating recharge
  • HYSEP: Hydrograph Separation Program
  • BFI: A Computer Program for Determining an Index to Base Flow (from U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Water Resources Research Laboratory)
  • See all USGS Groundwater Resources Software
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Internal USGS Resources

  • RISE: Reads a daily-values file of groundwater level, and tabulates daily water-level rises.
  • FALL: Reads a daily-values file of groundwater level, and extracts data representing periods of continuous recession.

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Page Last Modified: Monday, 18-Dec-2017 17:19:51 EST