USGS Water Science Centers are located in each state.
USGS: Your Source For Water Science You Can Use
Welcome to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Web
page for the water resources of Michigan; this is your direct link to
all kinds of water information. Here you'll find
information on Michigan's streams, ground water, water quality, and many other
Reporters: Do you want to accompany a USGS field crew as they measure flooding? Please contact Tom Weaver at 517-887-8923.
U.S. Geological Survey field crews have been measuring increased streamflow on numerous Michigan rivers in response to heavy rainfall in parts of the Lower Peninsula this April. The USGS Grand River at Ionia streamgage in west-central Michigan recorded its highest streamflow of record, which began in 1949. Preliminary analysis indicate that there is only a 1 to 2 percent chance that flows larger than the measured 25,100 cubic feet per second will occur in any given year at the Ionia streamgage.
Further downstream at the Grand River at Grand Rapids streamgage, the fifth largest flow since 1904 was recorded with a 4 to 10 percent chance of being exceeded in any given year. Upstream from Ionia at the Grand River at Lansing streamgage, peak flows had greater than 20 percent chance of being exceeded in any given year. High flows were also measured at USGS streamgageslocated in the Kalamazoo, Muskegon, Rifle, St. Joseph, and Saginaw River basins.
The likelihood of a peak flow event can be expressed, as above, using the annual exceedance probability, or its reciprocal, the recurrence interval. For example, a peak flow having a 20 percent chance of occurring in any given year, is equivalent to an event, which over an extended period of time, is exceeded on average once in five years (in the past, referred to as a 5-year flood, and calculated by dividing 1 by 0.20). Neither measure of likelihood can be used to predict the interval between flood events.
USGS scientists are collecting critical streamflow data that are vital for protection of life, property and the environment. These data are used by the National Weather Service to develop flood forecasts, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to manage flood control, and the various state and local agencies in their flood response activities. More information is available at the USGS Michigan Water Science Center.
There are 212 USGS-operated stations in Michigan that measure water levels, streamflow, rainfall, and selected water-quality parameters. Most of the USGS stations are realtime sites where data are updated every one to two hours.
For more than 125 years, the USGS has monitored flow in selected streams and rivers across the U.S. The information is routinely used for water supply and management, monitoring floods and droughts, bridge and road design, determination of flood risk, and for many recreational activities.
Access current flood and high flow conditions across the country by visiting the USGS WaterWatch. Receive instant, customized updates about water conditions in your area via text message or email by signing up for USGS WaterAlert. For more information about floods, see the USGS fact sheet, "Flood Hazards—A National Threat."
Michigan Bacteriological Research Laboratory (MI-BaRL)
The USGS Michigan Water Science Center Bacteriological Research Laboratory (MI-BaRL) in Lansing, MI provides a variety of modern analytical approaches to understand bacteriological contamination and microbial ecology in diverse aquatic environments. The MI-BaRL laboratory has examined beach microbiology, the occurrence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in surface water, and the occurrence of microbial pathogens in surface water, ground water, and in drinking water supplies. In addition, several studies conducted in the MI-BaRL have examined the ecology of microbial communities in different settings, including sulfur rich springs, arsenic and hydrocarbon contaminated groundwater, and wastewater-contaminated surface and groundwater.
The City of Wilmington, Delaware, is in the downstream part of the Brandywine Creek Basin, on the main stem of Brandywine Creek. Wilmington uses this stream, which drains a mixed-land-use area upstream, for its main drinking-water supply. Because the stream is used for drinking water, Wilmington is in need of information about the occurrence and distribution of specific fecally derived pathogenic bacteria (disease-causing bacteria) and their relations to commonly measured fecal-indicator bacteria (FIB), as well as information regarding the potential sources of the fecal pollution and pathogens in the basin.
This study focused on five routinely sampled sites within the basin, one each on the West Branch and the East Branch of Brandywine Creek and at three on the main stem below the confluence of the West and East Branches. These sites were sampled monthly for 1 year. Targeted event samples were collected on two occasions during high flow and two occasions during normal flow.
Silver Lake Nutrient Loading Study (Oceana County, MI)
The Silver Lake Nutrient Loading Study began in August 2012 between the Silver Lake Improvement Board and project partners, which include the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Annis Water Resources Institute (AWRI) , and Progressive AE. Recent persistent algal blooms, high phosphorus concentrations during summer months, as well as a decrease in water clarity underscore a need to characterize water and nutrient sources to Silver Lake (located in Oceana County, MI). The objective of the Silver Lake Nutrient study is to characterize the nutrient conditions and hydrologic inputs and outputs to Silver Lake in order to develop a water budget and nutrient budget for the lake. Once identified, information on nutrient sources can be used by the Silver Lake Improvement Board to implement management practices that best protect Silver Lake from potential negative effects associated with elevated nutrient concentrations.