Tag Archives: USGS

Increasing Dependence on Mountain Meltwater Could Threaten Lowland Agriculture

California’s Central Valley generates an estimated $17 billion in crop sales each year while occupying less than 1% of farmland in the U.S., according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). In many southern stretches of the Central Valley, as much as 50% of water currently used for agricultural irrigation originates from the Sierra Nevada mountains, […]

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USGS Updates SPARROW Streamflow Modeling Tool

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has released new interactive mappers and models for its online SPAtially Referenced Regression On Watershed attributes (SPARROW) tool. The new models estimate streamflow and the concurrent yields of total nitrogen, total phosphorus, and suspended sediment in both monitored and unmonitored inland stream reaches across the country as they feed into […]

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Less snowpack may mean greater floods in western U.S.

In several mountainous and high-latitude regions, one of the major consequences of climate change means that more winter precipitation falls as rain than as snow. The downtick in snowfall and uptick in rainfall is particularly impactful in much of the western U.S., where melting winter mountain snowpack makes a crucial difference for water supplies in […]

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CANCELED: 2020 National Water Policy Fly-In to focus on stormwater management issues

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELED. PLEASE VISIT THE EVENT WEBSITE FOR MORE INFORMATION. On April 27 and 28, 2020, water professionals and clean-water advocates from around the U.S. will convene in Washington, D.C., to make their voices heard during the annual Water Policy Fly-In. The event, organized by the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.), […]

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USGS: Urbanization threatens biodiversity in southeastern U.S. streams

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has released the results of a new study highlighting a looming threat to vulnerable marine life in the coming decades: urbanization. In the Piedmont region, which stretches from southern New York to central Alabama, the urban coverage of cities such as Washington, D.C., and Atlanta is expected to nearly triple […]

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Less pervious space does not necessarily mean more flash floods

Urbanization affects flash-flood risks differently in eastern and western U.S. For many water professionals, it may seem like Stormwater Management 101: As cities grow and develop over pervious spaces, stormwater runoff has increasingly fewer places to soak into and often flows into urban waterways. But how that extra runoff entering streams affects flash flooding may […]

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USGS estimates impervious parking lot coverage for all 3,109 U.S. counties

According to automotive industry analysts with Hedges & Co. (Hudson, Ohio), there were more than 275 million registered motor vehicles in the U.S. in 2018. Accommodating that number of vehicles requires an enormous network of parking lots, the vast majority of which are made of impervious pavement that rainwater cannot infiltrate. Until now, researchers have […]

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U.S. EPA and USGS collaborate on new surface-water modeling tool

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to combine two popular streamflow analysis tools into a single, integrated resource. The Surface Water Toolbox (SWToolbox), which has not yet been released to the public, will allow users to compute an extensive number of metrics associated with modeling how surface […]

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USGS interactive map provides long-term insight into U.S. river and stream quality

A new U.S. Geological Survey interactive map provides a comprehensive, long-term look at changes in the quality of U.S. rivers and streams over the last four decades. For the first time, monitoring data collected by 74 organizations at almost 1400 sites have been combined to provide a nationwide look at changes in the quality of our rivers […]

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Removing fallen leaves can improve urban water quality

The timely removal of leaf litter can reduce harmful phosphorus concentrations in stormwater by more than 80% in Madison, Wis., according to a recent U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) study. Autumn leaf litter contributes a significant amount of phosphorus to urban stormwater, the study found. The USGS-led study, Evaluation of Leaf Removal as a Means To […]

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