National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program

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General Information

Summary Reports

Written primarily for public and private decision-makers, NAWQA summary reports discuss water quality in terms of status, trends, natural and human factors, and implications for management and decision making. The consistent, multi-scale approach used in all assessments helps to determine if certain types of water-quality issues are isolated or pervasive, and allows direct comparisons of how human activities, land use, and natural factors affect water quality and ecological health in the Nation's diverse geographic and environmental settings. Water-quality conditions are compared to national water-quality statistics as well as considered against national water-quality standards and guidelines related to drinking water, protection of aquatic life, and nutrient enrichment.

National summary reports, many of which are published under the signature title "The Quality of Our Nation's Waters," describe water quality from a national perspective. 

Study Unit summary reports, each bearing the signature title "Water Quality in ____," are tailored to findings from 51 individual river basins and aquifer systems assessed by the NAWQA Program from 1991 through 2001. 

National Individual river basin and aquifer ("Study Unit") assessments

The Quality of Our Nation's Waters--Pesticides in the Nation's Streams and Ground Water, 1992-2001 (USGS Circular 1291) (Released March 2006)

The Quality of Our Nation's Waters--Volatile Organic Compounds in the Nation's Ground Water and Drinking-Water Supply Wells (USGS Circular 1292) (Released April 2006)

Water Quality in the Nation's Streams and Aquifers--Overview of Selected Findings, 1991-2001 (USGS Circular 1265) (USGS Fact Sheet)  (National Press Release)  (Released May 2004)

The Quality of Our Nation's Waters--Nutrients and Pesticides
(USGS Circular 1225) (USGS Fact Sheet) (Released May 1999)

View full list of Study Unit summary reports and press releases

 

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