A study was conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey to define the hydraulic and hydrologic characteristics of the Laguna Joyuda system (in southwestern Puerto Rico) and to determine the water budget of the lagoon. This shallow-water lagoon is connected to the sea by a single canal. Rainfall and evaporation, surface-water, groundwater, and tidal-flow data were collected from December 1, 1985, to April 30, 1988. A conceptual hydrologic model of the lagoon was developed and discharge measurements and modeling were undertaken to quantify the different flow components. The water balance during the 29-month study period was determined by measuring and estimating the different hydrologic components: 4.14 million cubic meters rainfall; 5.38 million cubic meters evaporation; 1.1 8 million cubic meters surface water; and 0.34 million cubic meters ground water. A total of 18.9 million cubic meters ebb flow (tidal outflow) was discharged from the lagoon and 14.4 million cubic meters flood flow (tidal inflow) entered through the canal during the study. Seawater inflow accounted for 71 percent of the water into the lagoon. The storage volume of the lagoon was about 1.55 million cubic meters. The lagoon's hydrologic-budget residual was 4.22 million cubic meters, whereas the sum of the estimated errors for the different hydrologic components amounted to 4.51 million cubic meters. Average flushing rate for the lagoon was estimated at 72 days. During the study, the specific conductance of the lagoon water ranged from 32,000 to 52,000 microsiemens per centimeter at 25 degrees Celsius, whereas the specific conductance of local seawater is about 45,000 to 55,000 microsiemens.