The USGS is the Nation's
largest earth-science agency and has the principal responsibility
within the Federal government for providing hydrologic information
and for appraising the Nation's water resources. Hydrologic data
and other data are used in research and hydrologic studies to
describe the quantity, quality, and location of the water resources
of the United States. The collection, analysis, and interpretation
of these data is done in cooperation with other federal, state and
local agencies, universities, and research
- The USGS manages water
information at offices located throughout the United States.
Although all offices are tied together through a Nation-wide
computer network, each collects data and conducts studies in a
particular area. Local information is best found at these
National (listed alphabetically)
- Branch of
Geophysical Applications and Support -- Provides
technology transfer and training for geophysical methods,
guidelines for quality assurance and quality control for the
collection, processing, storage, and interpretation of geophysical
data, and carries out specialized research studies to enhance the
knowledge and application of advanced geophysical methods related
to water-resources problems.
- Branch of
Technical Development and Quality Systems -- Operates
and maintains the National Training Center, provides technical
support and advice on quality management technology, manages and
operates quality control programs for water resources, and provides
training and coordination on quality assurance programs for the
- Ground Water Atlas of
the United States -- The USGS series of print
publications "The Ground Water Atlas of the United States"
describes the location, the extent, and the geologic and hydrologic
characteristics of the important aquifers of the Nation.
Instrumentation Facility (HIF) -- supports USGS hydrologic
data-collection activities through the identification of needs,
development of technical specifications, design or development of
specialized interfaces, contracts and procurements, testing and
evaluation, specialized field applications, repair and calibration,
quality control and assurance, and storage and distribution of
Atmospheric Deposition Program/National Trends Network
(NADP/NTN) -- A nationwide network of precipitation
monitoring sites. The first sites in the network were established
in 1978. The network currently consists of approximately 200 sites.
- National Irrigation Water
Quality Program -- A Department of Interior program to
identify and address irrigation-induced water quality and
contamination problems related to Department of Interior water
projects in the west.
Research Program -- conducts basic and problem
oriented hydrologic research in support of the mission of the USGS.
The program is designed to encourage pursuit of a diverse agenda of
research topics aimed at providing new knowledge and insights into
varied and complex hydrologic processes that are not well
Stream Quality Accounting Network (NASQAN) -- focus is
on monitoring 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.
Water Quality Assessment Program -- A program designed
to assess historical, current, and future water-quality conditions
in representative river basins and aquifers nationwide.
Water Quality Laboratory -- Fulfills analytical
requirements of the USGS by analyzing
environmental samples for inorganic, organic, and radiochemical
- National Water Summary --
A series of publications designed to increase public understanding
of the nature, geographic distribution, magnitude, and trends of
the Nation's water resources. It often is referred to as the
USGS "encyclopedia of
- National Water-Use
Program -- A program examining the withdrawal, use,
and return flow of water on local, state, and national levels.
- State Water Resources
Research Institute Program -- A matching grant program
to support water resources research, education, and information
transfer at the 54 university based Water Resources Research
Institutes. This program includes the National Institutes for Water
Resources USGS Student Internship Program.
Substances Hydrology (Toxics) Program -- provides
unbiased earth science information on the behavior of toxic
substances in the Nation's hydrologic environments. The information
is used to avoid human exposure, to develop effective cleanup
strategies, and to prevent further contamination.
- USGS Environmental
Affairs Program -- provides guidance and information
on the National Environmental Policy Act and other environmental
- Water Information Coordination Program
(WICP) -- purposes of the program are to ensure the
availability of water information required for effective
decisionmaking for natural resources management and environmental
protection and to do it cost effectively.
- Antarctica Stream
Hydrology -- maintains and distributes information
pertaining to the rivers and streams of the Antarctic continent.
Current contributers to this effort include the United States
Antarctic Research Program, and the New Zealand Antarctic Research
- Global Drainage Basins
Database -- Currently at the EROS Data Center, UNEP,
NASA, and the USGS are developing
continental drainage basins from the 30 arc second (~1-km) digital
elevation models (DEM). The goals of the project are two-fold. The
first goal is to produce the most realistic, verified drainage
basins from the DEM. The second goal is to compare the drainage
areas from the 30 arec second (~1-km) source to existing basin
sources. A comparitive analysis of what drainage source produces
the best physical boundary will benefit researchers, scientists,
and individuals that use hydrological feature data for modeling,
calculating, and assessing environmental problems.
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