In Reply Refer To:

Mail Stop 412                                                                          October 12, 2000




Subject:            National Stream Quality Accounting Network, Fiscal Year (FY) 2001


This memorandum contains a summary of National Stream Quality Accounting Network (NASQAN) status and funding for FY 2001. Details of NASQAN station operation and protocol changes are contained in the NASQAN National Operations memo, which will be released at the National Meeting to be held October 17-19 in Jackson, MS.


NASQAN Stations


The NASQAN station network (Table 1) has changed appreciably since last year, reflecting the decision to shift resources from the Columbia and Colorado basins to the Yukon basin for the next five years. NASQAN will suspend operations at all stations in the Columbia and Colorado with the exception of three index stations in these basins. In addition to the routine water-quality monitoring in the lower Columbia River, a special study will be conducted to investigate the use of continuous turbidity data to refine the estimates for suspended sediment flux and delivery to the Columbia Estuary.  NASQAN has also withdrawn support for three stations that were previously operated in conjunction with the National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program: Rio Grande at El Paso, TX; Yellowstone River near Sidney, MT; Platte River at Louisville, NE. NAWQA will assume full responsibility for operating these stations. 


There are a few other changes in the network configuration in the Mississippi and Rio Grande basins. In the Mississippi, the NASQAN site in South Dakota will be moved from Pierre to Yankton, below all of the major storage reservoirs in the Missouri. A new site will be started on the Ohio River at Sewickley, PA, to characterize the upper Ohio basin because NAWQA will not be operating the Allegheny-Monongahela study unit during Cycle 2. In the Rio Grande, event samples have been eliminated. The funds saved from this activity will be used for measurement of continuous conductivity at three sites within the basin and for surveys of the two major reservoirs. In addition, discharge at the terminal station (Rio Grande at Brownsville) are much lower than was the case in the past both because of the drought and because of more complete extraction of water for irrigation. This site will be sampled only when there is substantial flow. The station configuration in the lower valley will be re-evaluated during FY 2001.


Table 1 also contains the sampling frequency for all stations, including the "fixed" samples whose collection costs are made in an initial transfer at the beginning of the year and the "event" samples. Collection costs for event samples are reserved until samples are collected to provide greater flexibility to the program. These funds will be transferred in July, 2001. Detailed sampling schedules will be released with the Operations memo at the NASQAN meeting.


There will be greater variation among stations this year concerning which constituents are measured. The final column of Table 1 indicates the number of large volume samples to be collected for sediment chemistry analysis of trace elements. In general, after a site has been adequately characterized, no further sediment chemistry is collected, with the exception of a few key locations in each basin.


   Table 1. NASQAN Stations operated in FY 2001 with sampling frequency.



Initial Funding Transfer


The amount of the initial transfer is shown, by District and by station, in Table 2.  These figures reflect cost estimates provided by the Districts in August, 2000. Although these amounts reflect the estimates in gross funds as provided at that time, OWQ reserves the right to adjust the funding if overhead rates change during the year.


The "Fixed QW Sampling" figures shown in the attached table should be entered on the CBR request frame in AIS as your request for FY 2001 water-quality funding. Where applicable, funding for surface-water gages is shown in a separate column and should be entered into the appropriate request frame.


Table 2. Initial funding transfer for NASQAN stations.





Analytical Schedules


Although there are no changes in the analytical schedules to be used this year, the schedules have been changed to reflect changes in the analysis for dissolved and particulate organic carbon. Different supplies will be needed this year for these constituents. These issues will be discussed at the NASQAN meeting in Jackson and in the FY 2001 NASQAN Operational Memo. "Central" sediment labs will be used for all NASQAN samples to ensure data comparability across the basins. All NASQAN samples from the Mississippi and Rio Grande Basins should be sent to the Iowa Sediment Lab; Columbia, Colorado and Yukon samples should be sent to CVO.


Laboratory Charges


Both National Water Quality Laboratory and Sediment Laboratory Charges are directly billed to NASQAN using the appropriate basin account number. Sediment lab charges are not included in the funds being transferred to the Districts, although shipping costs have been included in the transfer.


Account numbers that should be used are:


Yukon River                             4883-15010

Colorado River             4883-15020

Columbia River             4883-15030

Mississippi River                       4883-15040

Rio Grande                               4883-15050


These account numbers are to be used only for laboratory charges and not for supplies, equipment or other costs. (Funds for those items have already been included in the amounts transferred to the Districts.) Any charges to these accounts directly by Districts will be rejected. Any extraordinary expenses must be discussed with Rick Hooper. Once approved, funds will be SV'd to Districts to cover such costs.


Program Coordination


Each NASQAN basin has a "Basin Coordinator" who is the primary contact for operational questions. For FY 2001, the basin coordinators are:


Mississippi Basin: Richard Coupe (rhcoupe), Jackson, MS; (601) 933-2982

Rio Grande Basin: Dee Lurry (dllurry), Austin, TX; (512) 873-3071

Colorado Basin: Bob Hart (bhart), Flagstaff, AZ; (520) 556-7137

Columbia Basin: Valerie Kelly (vjkelly), Portland, OR; (503) 251-3244

Yukon Basin: Tim Brabets (tbrabets), Anchorage, AK;  (907) 786-7105





Rick Hooper (rphooper; Northborough, MA; (508/490-5065) serves as the National Technical Coordinator, and is the primary contact regarding budget questions.




Janice R. Ward

Acting Chief, Office of Water Quality


This memorandum supersedes OWQ Technical Memorandum 2000.01.


Distribution:      A, B, DC, AO, District Water-Quality Specialists, and Regional Water-Quality Specialists