About the USGS Colorado Water Science Center
As one of the 48 Science Centers in the Water Resources Discipline of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the USGS Colorado Water Science Center is an integral part of a Federal agency devoted to data collection, applied science, and dissemination of information.
What We Do
The U.S. Geological Survey conducts its water-resources activities in Colorado in formal partnerships with more than 125 other organizations representing all levels of government. These activities include extensive data-collection efforts and studies of various types - the results are documented in reports and as information served on the internet. The USGS operates statewide data-collection networks for streamflow, water quality, and groundwater levels. The USGS Colorado Water Science Center also is conducting studies that are helping to address many specific issues of concern to Colorado water-management entities and citizens. Among these issues are:
- Sustainability of adequate, good-quality water supplies for agricultural, municipal, and industrial uses.
- Effects of energy development on water resources.
- Environmental hazards - drought, wildfires, floods.
- Challenges associated with regulatory-compliance requirements and goals.
- Remediation of water-quality effects of mining and waste disposal.
- Effects of human activities on pristine, high elevation environments.
- Science information needs of other Department of the Interior bureaus.
USGS Colorado Water Science Center Program Highlights
- Operation of nearly 300 streamflow gages to support flood and drought management needs, water-rights administration, and water-project planning and operations requirements.
- Long-term collection of stream water-quality data at 160 sites.
- Analysis of groundwater availability in the aquifers of the Denver basin, with an emphasis on evaluation of groundwater level declines, changes in aquifer storage, and streamflow depletion.
- Assessments of water-quality conditions in streams and aquifers in the South Platte, Rio Grande, and upper Colorado River Basins and the High Plains aquifer, emphasizing improved understanding of trends in water quality and effects of human activities on water quality (National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA) projects).
- Several studies in rapidly developing mountainous areas of Colorado to evaluate the effects of increasing human activity on the availability and quality of surface- and groundwater resources.
- Technical assistance to the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service in monitoring the effects of energy development on water resources in western Colorado.