Water resources activities of the USGS, 1987

Open-File Report 87-111

Edited by:
John E. Moore and C. William Cardin


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Effective management of water resources requires an understanding of hydrologic systems and the factors that determine the distribution, availability, and quality of water. Within the Federal Government, the U.S. Geological Survey has the principal responsibility for providing hydrologic information and for appraising the Nation's water resources. The water resources activities of the U.S. Geological Survey are diverse, ranging from research investigations of specific aspects of the hydrologic cycle to large programs of regional water-resources investigations, such as the Regional Aquifer System Analyses.

This report describes the U.S. Geological Survey's water resources activities. Some activities, such as the acid rain program, are mandated by line items in the Survey's fiscal year 1987 budget. Others, such as floods, sediment, and snow and ice, are topics of general interest to the water resources community. Still others are related to current water issues, such as nonpoint sources of pollution, the irrigation drainage problem of the western San Joaquin Valley, and national ground-water protection.

In many cases, there is considerable overlap in the topical descrip-tions. The Survey's water resources research program, for example, conducts investigations that are applicable to virtually all of the activities listed in this book. Similarly, projects in the Federal-State Cooperative Program cover multiple aspects of water resources. For these reasons, the sums associated with funding for each of the activities listed exceeds by a considerable amount the Survey's budget for water resources activities.

The report first describes the water-resources mission of the U.S. Geological Survey and discusses the principal sources of funds that support the activities. The remainder of the report consists of descriptions of 39 of the most significant water resources activities. An index appears at the end of the report.

Each description of a significant water activity has the following parts:

  • Introduction--the problem or issue addressed by the activity and a statement of purpose.
  • Activities--examples of investigations underway.
  • Recent accomplishments--examples of findings or achievements.
  • Funding--an indication of the size of the program in terms of funding. Where possible, the funding of activities is given by source for fiscal years 1983 to 1987.

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USGS Numbered Series
Water resources activities of the USGS, 1987
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Open-File Report
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U.S. Geological Survey
78 p.