USGS Ohio Water Science Center
Surface Water Projects
Hydrologic and Hydraulic Analyses flood-study program
A priority component of the USGS mission is providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth and minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters and enhance and protect our quality of life. Flooding affects many Ohio communities, and floods cost more in lives and property damage than all other natural hazards combined. This program employs hydrologic and hydraulic analyses to determine water-surface elevations associated with specific flood magnitudes at several points along a stream channel. The water-surface elevation data are used together with land-surface elevation data to determine and map the corresponding spatial extent of flood inundation. In some cases, libraries of flood-inundation maps are prepared for stream channels near USGS streamgages at which the National Weather Service (NWS) forecasts flood levels. In those cases, the NWS forecasts can be used in advance via map-based Web applications (for example, see http://wim.usgs.gov/FIMI) to determine areas that are likely to flood at the forecasted levels. These studies and tools serve as a foundation for making science-based decisions to better manage flood risk and efforts to mitigate flood impacts.
> David Straub, email@example.com
Nutrients and Sediment in the Western Lake Erie Basin
Nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) from urbanization and agriculture practices are a concern in the Western Lake Erie Basin watersheds in northwestern Ohio. Large inputs of nitrogen and phosphorus compounds into a stream or lake can cause algal blooms (excessive algal growth) and may cause taste and odor problems in water supplies. When blooms die, dissolved oxygen concentrations are depleted, which can cause stress for aquatic organisms. Daily, seasonal, and annual nutrient and sediment loads from the seven tributaries of the Maumee River to Lake Erie will be quantified and the nature of sediment particles in transport as compared to the particles in the bed material will be characterized to determine the scope of nutrient and sediment loads from Maumee tributaries
> Donna Runkle, firstname.lastname@example.org
Edge of field and priority watershed (Waterville) monitoring
The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) is an interagency effort that seeks to accelerate ecosystem restoration in the Great Lakes by confronting threats to the region, such as nonpoint source pollution. Three Priority Watersheds have been targeted (Fox/Green Bay, Saginaw, and Maumee) and are characterized by having a high density of agricultural land use and have ecosystem impairments clearly identified. As part of the GLRI, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) have partnered to conduct environmental research on privately owned farms. The monitoring methods are modeled after previous USGS studies in which locations are targeted within each watershed that will be directly affected by conservation efforts. This method will allow for a rapid assessment of water-quality changes due to conservation efforts and represent the major pathways for nonpoint source pollution to enter the stream.
> Carrie Huitger, email@example.com
Assessing the Hydrological Effects of Potential Changes in Climate and Water Use in the Upper Scioto River Basin
The central Ohio region is projected to grow by 450,000 people between 2005 and 2030 (Ohio Department of Development, 2003). The USGS is developing a rainfall-runoff model of the Upper Scioto River Basin to help water managers and planners assess whether existing and planned water-supply systems will be adequate to meet the region’s future demand for water. This model will be used to estimate potential hydrologic effects of climate-change outcomes predicted by several climate-change models, and it will be instrumental for evaluating potential future alternative water-management practices
> Chad Ostheimer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Stream Gage Network
The USGS operates about 7,400 streamgages nationwide (about 225 in Ohio). These streamgages provide streamflow information for a wide variety of uses including flood prediction, water management and allocation, engineering design, research, operation of locks and dams, and recreational safety and enjoyment. The majority of streamgages electronically record and transmit streamflow information to the Web in near real time (http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis).
> Thomas Harris, email@example.com
Low-Flow Streamgage Network in Ohio
Data on low-flow characteristics are used by water-resource managers for a variety of purposes including water-supply planning, making decisions about wastewater-discharge and water-withdrawal permits, and evaluating instream flow requirements. The objective of this study is to collect low-flow data at locations throughout Ohio in order to expand the base of available information. The Ohio low-flow network consists of both continuous-record streamflow sites and sites where streamflow measurements are made only during low-flow periods.
> Joel Metzker, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ohio Water-Use Program
Every 5 years since 1950, water-use data have been compiled and disseminated in Ohio as part of the USGS National Water-Use Information program. Current water-use categories include public supply, domestic, irrigation, livestock, aquaculture, industry, mining, and thermoelectric power. Water-use data are available by county and 8-digit Hydrologic Unit Codes.
> Kimberly Shaffer, email@example.com
Sediment Network in Ohio
Suspended-sediment samples are being collected to determine suspended-sediment loads. Over the years, these sediment data have provided an assessment of sediment-transport characteristics and an indication of water quality of Ohio's streams.
> John Tertuliani, firstname.lastname@example.org
NAWQA Surface Water Status and Trends: Management Support
The long-term goals of the National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA) and National Stream Quality Accounting Network (NASQAN) programs are to describe the status and trends in the quality of a large representative part of the Nation's surface-water and groundwater resources and to provide a sound, scientific understanding of the primary factors affecting the quality of these resources. USGS Ohio Water Science Center staff provide support to the NASQAN and NAWQA Surface Water Status and Trends Coordinator and NAWQA National Leadership Team and provide guidance to the NAWQA study units on surface-water status and trends activities.
> Dave Reutter, email@example.com
Lake Erie (LERI) NAWQA Surface Water Status and Trends: Ecology
The Lake Erie and Lake Saint Clair (LERI) Basins in Indiana, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania comprise one of more than 50 study units that are part of the USGS National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program. The long-term goals of the NAWQA program are to describe the water-quality status and trends in a large representative part of the Nation's surface-water and groundwater resources and to provide a sound, scientific understanding of the primary factors affecting the quality of these resources. The LERI NAWQA ecology study includes the collection of habitat. fish, algae, and macroinvertebrate- community data from selected streams within the LERI study unit. Data have been collected since 1994 and are stored in an ecological database (BioData) for use by all NAWQA ecological studies.
> Stephanie Janosy, firstname.lastname@example.org
Monitoring of Groundwater Levels and Surface-Water Quality at the South Well Field, Franklin County, Ohio
LThe City of Columbus operates 5 (soon to be 6) high-capacity collector wells to extract groundwater for drinking-water supply. To assist the City, the USGS monitors water levels in 5 observation wells and operates a water-quality monitor on the Scioto River where specific conductance, temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, and turbidity are measured on an hourly basis. In addition, groundwater-level synoptic measurements and streamflow gain/loss studies are done every 3 to 4 years.
> Denise Dumouchelle, email@example.com
Lake Erie NAWQA Surface Water Status and Trends
The Lake Erie and Lake Saint Clair (LERI) Basins in Indian, Michigan, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania comprise one of more than 50 study units that are part of the USGS National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program. The long-term goals of the NAWQA program are to describe the water-quality status and trends in a large representative part of the Nation's surface-water and groundwater resources, and to provide a sound, scientific understanding of the primary factors affecting the quality of these resources. The LERI NAWQA surface-water status and trends study includes the collection of sediment and water-quality samples on the Maumee and Auglaize Rivers in Ohio. Samples have been collected on these rivers since 1994 for the NAWQA program.
> Dennis Finnegan, firstname.lastname@example.org
Crest-Stage Streamgage Network in Ohio
Historically, streams with drainage areas less than 100 square miles have not been adequately represented in regional peak flow analysis. To help fill this data gap, crest-stage gages were installed in 2001 at 18 sites throughout Ohio in order to augment the peak flow record for small streams (less than 100 square miles). After enough peak flow data have been collected at these sites, an updated statewide flood-frequency analysis will likely improve the estimation of peak flows at ungaged streams site with smaller drainage areas.
> Branden Vonins, email@example.com