National Park Service / US Geological Survey - Water Quality Partnership
Planning and Selection of Project Proposals
Each year project proposals for the Water Quality Partnership
are collaboratively developed with local park staff and USGS Science Centers.
The proposals are evaluated, prioritized and selections are made annually by
an inter-agency panel led by the USGS and NPS coordinators and other USGS and
NPS representatives. Each proposal is given a numerical score based on multiple
ranking criteria for the partnership including key factors such as scientific merit,
severity of the resource threat in the park, problem resolution and cost-effectiveness.
Projects typically range from 1 to 3 years in duration and fall into one of three categories:
One-year efforts for purposes of installation of instrumentation, training and quality assurance, scoping or limited synoptic water quality studies, or providing technical representation to the NPS requiring water quality expertise.
Two-year investigations of water quality to provide a timely assessment of aquatic conditions at selected locations and to evaluate the spatial relationships or contributions to those conditions, and/or to provide baseline data and information where little exists. The studies document status in water quality and may determine if management actions are achieving water quality objectives.
Three-year investigations that entail in-depth study of park water quality. Designed to characterize known or suspected water quality problems, these projects also focus on understanding causes of contamination and the implications of water quality impairment to aquatic biota.