General Policy for the Use of the Ground Water Site Inventory System

In Reply Refer To:                           March 19, 1992
Mail Stop 411


Subject:  General Policy for the Use of the Ground Water Site 
          Inventory System

The purpose of this technical memorandum is to establish an 
overall policy for the use of the Ground Water Site Inventory 
(GWSI) of the National Water Information System I (NWIS-I) for 
operational activities of the Water Resources Division.  This 
policy will have application as well to the GWSI in NWIS-II when 
it becomes operational.

The need for quality-assured data from all of the Division's 
water-resources activities is critical for addressing the 
Nation's water problems.  Recently, the States were given the 
responsibility from the U.S.  Environmental Protection Agency to 
develop their individual ground-water protection and management 
strategies.  The technical development of these strategies will 
depend heavily on data and information from the Geological 
Survey.  This effort will be ongoing during the period that the 
Division will be making the transition from the NWIS-I to the 
NWIS-II data bases.

A recent report, "Review of the U.S. Geological Survey's Ground-
Water Site Inventory Data Base," by Robert Faye and Keith McFadden 
indicated that the GWSI data base is irregularly populated among 
the districts, large differences exist between the GWIS in NWIS 
and National Water Data Storage and Retrieval System (WATSTORE) 
data bases, and few districts have a well-defined policy on the 
population and use of the ground-water data bases.

To begin to address the irregular population of GWSI, from this 
date forward ground-water data from all active projects shall use 
GWSI for data storage and retrieval.  Site data for all wells in 
water-level observation networks must be entered in GWSI.  In 
addition, continuous records for all observation wells must be 
entered in the daily values files of NWIS.  Site information for 
individual wells and springs for which data are to be shown in 
published reports must be entered into GWSI.

Additional Office of Ground Water technical memorandums will be 
issued that address specific procedures for the collection of 
ground-water data in the field, checking and verification of 
field data, entry of ground-water data into the GWSI, checking and 
verification of data entry, entry of past paper file data, and 
other aspects of ground-water data collection and storage as 

                        /s/ Joseph S. Rosenshein
                        Acting Chief, Office of
                        Ground Water

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