Urban hydrology - Science capabilities of the U.S. Geological Survey

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Urbanization affects streamflow characteristics, coastal flooding, and groundwater recharge. Increasing impervious areas, streamflow diversions, and groundwater pumpage are some of the ways that the natural water cycle is affected by urbanization. Assessment of the relations among these factors and changes in land use helps water-resource managers with issues such as stormwater management and vulnerability to flood and drought. Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) have the expertise to monitor and model urban hydrologic systems. Streamflow and groundwater data are available in national databases, and analyses of these data, including identification of long-term streamflow trends and the efficacy of management practices, are published in USGS reports.

Document Type: 

  • Fact Sheet


  • critical issues, database publication, water, flood, coasts, water availability, drought