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Kentucky Water Science Center

Kentucky Water Resources Program

The mission of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is to serve the Nation by providing reliable, impartial scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life. Message from our Director......

Hydrologic Data


Sediment Lab


Science Center Information


Real-Time Data for Kentucky

NOTICE: Recently discontinued and threatened USGS streamgages in Kentucky. Click here for more information.

Historical Data

Current Water Conditions

Current streamflow conditions in Kentucky; click to go to a larger map.

National Water Conditions

Hydrology Tools

USGS Kentucky stream-flow gage locations map - click for larger image

For those unable to view the graphical map, the same information is available via the USGS-KY NWISWeb site inventory page.

Recent Products

USGS Products and Information

Science Highlights

Flood-Inundation Maps for a 6.5-Mile Reach of the Kentucky River at Frankfort, Kentucky

Digital flood-inundation maps for a 6.5-mile reach of Kentucky River at Frankfort, Kentucky, were created by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in cooperation with the City of Frankfort Office of Emergency Management.

The inundation maps, available through the USGS Flood Inundation Mapping Science Web site, depict estimates of the areal extent and depth of flooding corresponding to selected water levels (stages) at the USGS streamgage Kentucky River at Lock 4 at Frankfort, Kentucky, and include HAZUS , a tool used to to estimate physical, economic, and social impacts of disasters; HAZUS is used for mitigation and recovery as well as preparedness and response. Read more.......

map of the City Of Frankfort study area

Flood-inundation map for Frankfort, Kentucky, corresponding to a stage of 52.00 feet and an elevation of 513.38 feet (NAVD 88) at U.S. Geological Survey streamgage number 03287500 Kentucky River at Lock 4 at Frankfort, Kentucky. [Click to view larger image]

Assessment of Pesticides, Nutrients, and Suspended Sediment of the Little River Basin, Kentucky

Surface water and ground water in the Little River Basin, because of the presence of karst topography, are vulnerable to applications of chemicals associated with both agricultural and urban activities, such as pesticides and fertilizers. The potential contamination of streams and ground water by pesticides, fertilizers, and sediment is a major concern to human and aquatic health. State water-quality agencies have identified nutrient enrichment, siltation, and pathogens as water-quality issues affecting surface waters in the Little River Basin. The lack of a substantial water-quality database for the Little River Basin, and concerns about the potential impacts of pesticides on human health, as well as on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems have led to the need for further evaluation of the water quality in the Little River Basin. Read more.....

map of the Little River Basin study area

Map of the Little River Basin study area

Flood-Inundation Maps of the South Fork Little River at Hopkinsville, Kentucky

Digital flood-inundation maps for an 8.9-mile reach of South Fork Little River at Hopkinsville, Kentucky, were created by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in cooperation with the City of Hopkinsville Community Development Services .

These flood-inundation maps, along with online information regarding current stages from USGS streamgage and forecasted stages from the National Weather Service (NWS), provide emergency management and local residents with critical information for flood response activities such as evacuations, road closures, and post-flood recovery efforts.

The inundation maps depict estimates of the areal extent and depth of flooding corresponding to selected water levels (stages) at the USGS streamgage at South Fork Little River at Highway 68 By-Pass at Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Read more....

Kentucky Water Science Center Annual Cooperators Meeting

The USGS Indiana-Kentucky Water Science Center, Kentucky office hosted the 4th annual Hydrologic Monitoring Network Partner Meeting at The Parklands of Floyds Fork facility on June 3, 2015. The partners in attendance represented federal, state, and local agencies. An overview of the USGS and the merger of the Indiana and Kentucky Water Science Centers, (now known as the "Indiana-Kentucky Water Science Center") was given by Tom Ruby. Read more........

Social Media

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new image graphicDownload the free LAYAR™ app and scan the image below [click image for larger view] with your smart phone to learn about USGS streamgages, access the USGS Indiana-Kentucky Facebook page, or obtain real-time USGS data! Look for these on our local IN-KY WSC USGS streamgages and other USGS science-based equipment and products.

USGS scanable image for use with LAYAR application

Collaborative Projects

Water Availability Tool for Environmental Resources

Screenshot of the WATER application GUI (Photo by USGS KY WSC)

The Water Availability Tool for Environmental Resources (WATER) was developed in cooperation with the Kentucky Division of Water to provide a consistent and defensible method of estimating streamflow, water availability, and other hydrologic information in ungaged basins.

WATER automatically incorporates and processes large amounts of basic and custom geospatial data to quantitatively describe topography, soil-water storage, climate, streamflow, and other parameters. WATER is also designed so that it can be expanded for other science and regulatory applications including, but not limited to, sediment and nutrient loads, evaluation of surface mining effects (Cumulative Hydrologic Impact Assessments), as well as flows that are necessary for ecological viability.

The concept of the Kentucky WATER application was born from the need to quantify water availability in areas of the Kentucky Commonwealth with limited long-term monitoring data. Kentucky's wealth of geospatial data was critical to the Kentucky WATER application and enabled USGS scientists to take well-known streamflow generation and modeling concepts (Beven and Kirby, 1979), develop innovative data-processing methods, and apply the concept across all regions of Kentucky with much greater accuracy and precision than had been previously possible.

View the project page link above to learn more about how the USGS can help you manage your water resources by providing custom input data, user-friendly interfaces, and tailored output to meet your specific management needs through "WATER".

Kentucky Agriculture Science and Monitoring Committee

Photo  of a tobacco field

The Kentucky Agriculture Science and Monitoring Committee (KASMC) is a partnership of national, state, and local agencies dedicated to coordinating agricultural science and monitoring efforts in Kentucky in order to promote sustainable farming and a healthy environment

National Projects

U.S. Geological Survey Flood Inundation Mapping Science

screen shot of Flood Inundation Map

Estimation of Nutrient and Sediment Loading in the Mississippi River and Great Lakes Basins with Regional SPARROW Models

screen shot of SPARROW application

Program Cooperators

Commonwealth Highlights

U.S. Geological Survey Indiana-Kentucky Water Science Center Commonwealth Strategic Science Plan, 2012-2017

The USGS Indiana and Kentucky WSCs work together closely, under one Director, within a “Commonwealth” model. The Indiana-Kentucky WSC Commonwealth is organized with a Deputy Director in each State office who reports to the Director. Technical and support staff in each State report to the Deputy Director. The combined staff of the Commonwealth is approximately 100 employees, which is composed of hydrologists, research hydrologists, hydrologic technicians, biologists, geospatial specialists, management, administration, and information technology support personnel. The USGS Indiana WSC office is located in Indianapolis, Indiana. The USGS Kentucky WSC consists of three offices: Louisville, Kentucky (main office), Murray, Ky. (field office), and Williamsburg, Ky. (field office). Read more......

Center for Applied Hydrologic Solutions

The Center for Applied Hydrologic Solutions (CAHS) is jointly located within the USGS Kentucky and Indiana Water Science Centers in Louisville, Kentucky and Indianapolis, Indiana respectively. CAHS is dedicated to developing high-end spatial and information-technology applications that leverage defensible USGS science to create partner-driven applications that pair with modern technologies.

Project Archive

Abandoned Oil and Gas Wells near Fort Knox

Maxey Flats Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Site

Groundwater Resources Program Karst Hydrology Initiative

Ohio River Alluvial Aquifer - Groundwater Network

Record Groundwater Levels in the Louisville Area [March 2012]

Biology Geography Geology Geospatial Water

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Page Last Modified: Monday, January 23, 2017 10:33 AM