USGS Groundwater Resources Program

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) GroundWater Resources Program (GWRP) supports applied research into the effects of climate variability on groundwater availability. The purpose of GWRP is to conduct and synthesize groundwater investigations on regional and national scales. 

To better understand the potential consequences of climate variability on U.S. groundwater resources, GWRP is supporting an assessment to investigate the following questions:

  • How do recharge, discharge, and change in storage in the Principal Aquifers respond to natural climate cycles on inter-annual to multi-decadal timescales?
  • What fraction of hydrologic response is due to natural variability versus human activities?
  • Are certain time periods of climate variability more cost-effective for artificial storage and recovery efforts?
  • Do certain time periods of climate variability necessitate time-varying groundwater management policies?
  • Are certain Principal Aquifers more or less vulnerable to changes in storage due to climate variability?
  • What approaches exist for incorporating groundwater response to climate variability in groundwater flow models?

The GWRP is building assessments of groundwater availability in major aquifers. These assessments will document the effects of human activities on groundwater resources, examine climate variability impacts on the regional water budgets,  and evaluate the adequacy of existing data networks. The GWRP's website contains links to completed and ongoing studies.

The GWRP has supported the development of a Groundwater Climate-Response Network, a network of wells selected to illustrate the response of the groundwater system to climate variations nationwide.


Publication Date: 2008

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Resource Types:

  • Assessment
  • Tool (general)


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