USGS - science for a changing world

Regional Hydrology Projects

Soil Water Deficit and Drought

Deficits in soil moisture have the potential to reduce runoff as a result of rainfall or snowmelt replenishing the soil to field capacity prior to runoff.

Water supply basins in California that drain to the SF Bay Delta and calculation of soil water deficit as of January 2014 using the California Basin Characterization Model

Two multi-purpose reservoirs in the Russian River region provide storage for warm-season uses, and there is little to no snow pack to extend the runoff season.

Coping with Drought in the Russian River Watershed

Two multi-purpose reservoirs in the Russian River region provide storage for warm-season uses, and there is little to no snow pack to extend the runoff season.


Russian River Unimpaired Daily Streamflow

Sustainable management of water resources requires estimates of unimpaired streamflow to assess impacts related to changes in land use, population, climate, and policy.

Sustainable management of water resources requires estimates of unimpaired streamflow to assess impacts related to changes in land use, population, climate, and policy

To create a framework for adapting to climate change, decision makers need to understand specific threats to our water supply, land use suitability, hazard risks, ecosystems and quality of life.

Climate Ready Vulnerability Assessment

To create a framework for adapting to climate change, decision makers need to understand specific threats to our water supply, land use suitability, hazard risks, ecosystems and quality of life.


Characterization of Hydrologic Conditions for Species Distributions Along Environmental Gradients

Physiological strategies and functional traits provide a key starting point to understand how plant distributions are shaped along gradients of climate and soils.

Physiological strategies and functional traits provide a key starting point to understand how plant distributions are shaped along gradients of climate and soils.

Map of hydrologic output variables for (a) average recharge (net infiltration below the root zone) for water years 1981-2010.

Refinement of the Basin Characterization Model to Improve California Department of Water Resources Forecasting for Water Supply

Refine the Basin Characterization Model (BCM) to improve estimates of spring snowmelt and runoff, and develop products useful for forecasting water-supply needs under extreme conditions, such as drought.


Climate and Natural Resources Analysis and Planning for California's Northern Coast

The USGS will work with Pepperwood Preserve to provide analysis and planning support for climate-change adaptation, forest ecology and watershed hydrology, and groundwater analyses and planning.

Study area of California's North Coast counties.

decrease in climatic water deficit for 1998 in inches of water per year

Increasing Soil Organic Carbon to Mitigate Greenhouse Gases and Increase Climate Resiliency for California

Enhancing soil carbon in working lands at large spatial scales has the potential to measurably reduce greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere, increase the sustainability of working landscapes and ensure the provision of other ecosystem services, including water, food and wildlife habitat.


comparison of historic and future modeled precipitation in the Great Basin

Using the Basin Characterization Model to Estimate Natural Recharge in Indian Wells Valley, California

Understanding the rate and amounts of natural groundwater recharge in the Indian Wells Valley is important to developing resource-management plans for the groundwater basin and the communities that depend on it.