One of the roles of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is to provide reliable water data and unbiased water science needed to describe and understand the Nation?s water resources. This fact sheet describes selected techniques that were used by the USGS to collect, transmit, evaluate, or interpret data, in support of investigations that describe the quantity and quality of water resources in Maryland (MD), Delaware (DE), and the District of Columbia (D.C.). These hydrologic investigations generally were performed in cooperation with universities, research centers, and other Federal, State, and local Government agencies.
The applications of hydrologic science and research that were selected for this fact sheet were used or tested in the MD-DE-DC District from 2001 through 2003, and include established methods, new approaches, and preliminary research. The USGS usually relies on standard methods or protocols when conducting water-resources research. Occasionally, traditional methods must be modified to address difficult environmental questions or challenging sampling conditions. Technologies developed for other purposes can sometimes be successfully applied to the collection or dissemination of water-resources data. The USGS is continually exploring new ways to collect, transmit, evaluate, and interpret data. The following applications of hydrologic science and research illustrate a few of the recent advances made by scientists working for and with the USGS.