USGS Ohio Water Science Center
What we're doing...
USGS Crews Quantify Recent Flooding.
6/23/2015 -- In response to the persistent heavy rains that swept through central and northern Ohio the week of June 14, which led to moderate flooding, the USGS Ohio WSC sent several crews to measure high-water marks, make discharge (quantity of streamflow) measurements, and obtain water-quality samples. The worst of the flooding was in the Auglaize, Blanchard, Maumee and Scioto River watersheds. Flooding also occurred in the Mahoning and Sandusky River watersheds. Obtaining measurements during and after a flood event provides important data used to calibrate and maintain the relation between stage(water height) and discharge. This allows hydrologists to develop continuous estimates of discharge, based on the continuously measured stage at a streamgage (see How Streamflow is Measured). The USGS operates almost 300 streamgages in Ohio and more than 10,000 gages nationwide. Streamgages are vital tools for flood prediction, flood tracking, and water management, among many other uses.
Lower Muskingum Better Prepared For Floods.
5/20/2015 -- New flood-inundation maps and an updated flood-warning system will help communities along the Lower Muskingum River (from Marietta to McConnelsville) and a reach of the Ohio River prepare and plan for floods. These digital maps show water inundation areas and water-depth information, and they will allow emergency officials and the public to see which roadways and properties will be affected by predicted flood levels. Since the Flood of 1913 (video), seven Ohio River floods have met or exceeded a stage of 40 feet and severely affected Marietta. Creation of the flood-warning system was a collaboration among the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District, the City of Marietta, the USGS Ohio WSC, and the National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio (news release and USGS report).
Healthy And Safe Swimming Is A Click Away.
5/15/2015 -- Before you head out to the beach, check the water quality. The USGS Ohio Water Science Center has partnered with many agencies to develop “Nowcast” systems at eight beaches along Lake Erie and one Cuyahoga River site in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The Nowcasts provide near-real-time estimates of water quality to the beach-going public 5 to 7 days each week. Additionally, the Ohio BeachGuard provides water quality advisory information from the Ohio Nowcast and for other public and semi-private beaches on a regular basis (often every other week). Make a Healthy Splash: Share the Fun, not the Germs! May 18-24 is Healthy and Safe Swimming Week, but you can be fun and safe all summer long.
Groundwater: Become Aware Of This Magical Resource.
3/3/2015 -- In 1861 the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that groundwater was too secret and occult to be adjudicated by law, and water witching was a common method to identify groundwater (USGS Report, 1917). Though not of the occult, groundwater is a hidden resource that in Ohio provides drinking water to about 4.8 million people. Naturally occurring contaminants in Ohio groundwater can include microorganisms, radon, and arsenic. Contamination can also be caused or made worse by human activities, including releases of gasoline hydrocarbons and solvents, application of fertilizers, and septic-tank leachate. More information on groundwater and Groundwater Awareness Week can be found at the National Ground Water Association, Wellowner.org, and the USGS Groundwater Information Pages.
Water Resources Programs in Ohio
Ohio WSC Fact Sheets