National Park Service (NPS)/Water Resources Division (WRD) Water-Quality Monitoring and Assessment (WAQAM) Partnership

In Reply Refer To:
Mail Stop 413

                                                March 17, 1999


Subject: National Park Service (NPS)/Water Resources Division (WRD)
Water-Quality Monitoring and Assessment (WAQAM) Partnership

The NPS/WRD Water-Quality Monitoring and Assessment (WAQAM) 
Partnership (see WRD Memorandum 98.15) is anticipated to continue 
in fiscal year (FY) 2000 (pending congressional approval). This 
memorandum prescribes the WRD process to propose, select, and fund 
District water-quality work for NPS. 

The selection of NPS/WRD water-quality work begins with 
discussions among NPS Park Superintendents and WRD managers and 
scientists. Attachment 1 is the FY 2000 NPS Natural Resources
Stewardship and Science FY 2000 Unified Project and Technical 
Assistance Call that was sent by NPS to all park units on 
February 26, 1999 ( The 
NPS Call describes the FY 2000 call for project and evaluation 
criteria statements (the NPS equivalent of WRD preliminary project 
proposals).  Relevant section of the Call are pages 2-10, 
I. Instructions and Criteria, and pages 22-25, NPS-US Geological 
Survey Water Quality Assessment and Monitoring Partnership.

Park Superintendents who wish to submit WAQAM proposals will be
asked to contact Districts for assistance in developing
preliminary project proposals in accordance with the instructions
provided in the NPS Call. As described in attachments 1 and 2, a
preliminary project proposal consists of a project statement and 
evaluation criteria. 

Preliminary proposals should be limited to annual funding
levels suggested in attachment 1 (i.e., $100,000 for intensive 
studies and $50,000 for synoptic or fixed-station monitoring 
studies). Separate preliminary project proposals may be submitted 
for studies within a Park (intensive studies, and synoptic and
fixed-station monitoring studies. However, each study will be
constrained to the annual funding levels. Multi-year projects 
funded in FY99 (for FY00 work) will be subject to annual review,
approval, and funding, and must prepare and submit a progress 
report following the timelines below (see attachment 2). 
Also, please note that fixed-station monitoring is planned to 
occur on a 2- to 3-year rotation. Thus, long-term (for example, 
permanent discharge gaging stations) data-collection sites are 
not expected to be part of the program.

District and National Research Program (NRP) scientists who are 
interested in or have connections to a Park are encouraged to 
approach Park staff with ideas for consideration by the 
Partnership program. NRP scientists need to inform respective
District Chiefs of their discussions with Park staff in their 
Districts and District scientists are expected to play a role 
in any resulting project. 

The resulting jointly-prepared (Region-reviewed, as locally 
appropriate) preliminary project proposals will be submitted 
through District Chiefs to Park Superintendents to NPS for 
internal screening and initial prioritization using criteria 
described in attachment 1. Note, the sequence of NPS internal 
screening and initial prioritization of preliminary project 
proposals includes NPS clusters and regions and finally NPS 
headquarters. Districts should coordinate with Park 
Superintendents to insure meeting NPS cluster and region 
timelines for submitting proposals.

Up to 51 of new, highest priority candidate preliminary proposals 
will be submitted to an NPS-USGS work group (3 NPS and 3 USGS 
members) for final prioritization and funding in FY 2000. If a 
proposal is selected for funding, the responsible District must 
prepare a fully detailed, Region-approved proposal/work plan 
for final acceptance and funding. Continuation of multi-year 
projects begun in FY 1999 will be reviewed and approved by the 
work group. 

As District and NRP scientists prepare preliminary project 
proposals with NPS, proposals should include, as appropriate, 
the following:

(1) as stated in the attachments, proposed work should contribute
    to and focus on an enhanced understanding of Park water-
    quality management issues. In addition, proposals are 
    preferred that address the state of water-quality methods or 
    process understanding, as appropriate;
(2) Districts are encouaged to collaborate with scientists
    from NRP, other Districts, National Water-Quality Laboratory, 
    or other USGS Divisions and academia;
(3) any identified research must be coordinated with Districts, 
    integrated into a preliminary project proposal submitted to 
    a Park, and must clearly support Park issues;
(4) District Chiefs should be the primary liaison to the Parks 
    regarding the WAQAM Partnership. 

The timeline for the steps of the proposal prioritization and
selection process described below is as follows:

[1/--due date set by NPS Park Superintendent & WRD District Chief
 2/--due date set by individual NPS Clusters and NPS Regions]

                                       Responsible     Item
Due Date  Item(s)                      Agency          Recipient

1/        Complete project statement   District &      District Chief
          & evaluation criteria        Park staff      Regional
          statement for each                             Hydrologist
          proposed project                             Superintendent

2/        Submit approved project      Superintendent  NPS Clusters &
          statement & evaluation                         Regions
          criteria statement

May 28,   Submit approved project      NPS Clusters &  NPS Regions &
1999      statement & evaluation       Region            HQ
          criteria statement

Jun 25,   Complete preliminary         NPS HQ          NPS-USGS
1999      screening & initial                            Work Group
          prioritization of

Jul 16,   Complete evaluation & final  NPS-USGS        NPS & USGS HQs
1999      prioritization of proposals    Work Group

Jul 30,   Notify Districts & Parks of  NPS-USGS        District Chief
1999      proposals selected for         Work Group    Superintendent

Sep 17,   Submit detailed, approved    District Chief  Regional 
1999      work plan                                      Hydrologist
                                                         Work Group

Oct 1,    Approve funding & proceed    NPS-USGS        District Chief
1999      with work                    Work Group      Superintendent

Questions concerning the NPS/WRD Partnership should be directed to 
Walton Low (703-648-5707,

                                        Robert M. Hirsch
                                        Chief Hydrologist
2 attachments

Distribution: A, B, DC, NAWQA Study Unit Chiefs (1991, 1994, 1997)


Attachment 1-- FY 2000 National Park Service Natural Resources 
     Stewardship and Science FY 2000 Unified Project and Technical 
     Assistance Call 

Attachment 2-- FY 1999 Continuing Project Progress Report format