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USGS - science for a changing world
A USGS research boat heads out into the Bay-Delta

About the USGS California Water Science Center

The U.S. Geological Survey, California Water Science Center (CAWSC) provides reliable, impartial, foundational data and scientific analysis to address water issues facing California today. We conduct hydrologic monitoring and investigative studies in partnership with Federal, State, and local agencies to assist them in managing California's water resources.

Data Program

Hydrologic data collection, processing, analysis, dissemination, and archiving are essential to identifying and understanding water resources challenges, and developing sustainable future solutions. Streamflow data, for example, are used for flood and water-supply forecasts, planning and design, river regulation, streamflow statistics, and research investigations. Much of the data are available on a near-real-time basis by satellite telemetry. We operate approximately 500 streamgages and monitor nearly 3,000 groundwater wells.

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map of real-time streamflow conditions at USGS streamgage sites across California

California Water Research Projects

Our team of hydrologists, geologists, ecologists, biologists, chemists, modelers, geographers, data specialists, and technicians are conducting over 100 interdisciplinary studies addressing specific challenges presented by California's complex water landscape.

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A USGS hydrologist lowering an extensometer into a well to measure the rate of compaction.


Photo of a USGS California Water Science Center Hydrologist with a partner agency representative

The CAWSC works in partnership with federal, state, and local agencies. We provide data and scientific analyses to assist these agencies in their management of California's water resources.

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Science Highlights

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