National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Project

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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.

View all NAWQA Publications


The Quality of Our Nation's Waters Individual river basin and aquifer ("Study Unit") assessments

Mercury in the Nation's Streams--Levels, Trends, and Implications (USGS Circular 1395) (Press Release) (2014)

Ecological Health in the Nation’s Streams, 1993-2005 (USGS Circular 1391) (Press Release) (2013)

Factors Affecting Public-Supply-Well Vulnerability to Contamination—Understanding Observed Water Quality and Anticipating Future Water Quality (USGS Circular 1385) (Press Release) (2013)

Effects of Urban Development on Stream Ecosystems in Nine Metropolitan Study Areas Across the United States (USGS Circular 1373) (Press Release) (2012)

Nutrients in the Nation’s Streams and Groundwater, 1992-2004 (USGS Circular 1350) (Press Release) (2010)

Quality of Water from Public-Supply Wells in the United States, 1993-2007 (USGS Circular 1346) (Press Release) (2010)

Quality of Water from Domestic Wells in Principal Aquifers of the United States, 1991-2004 (USGS Circular 1332) (Press Release) (2009)

Volatile Organic Compounds in the Nation's Ground Water and Drinking-Water Supply Wells (USGS Circular 1292) (2006)

Pesticides in the Nation's Streams and Ground Water, 1992-2001 (USGS Circular 1291) (2006)

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

Nutrients and Pesticides USGS Circular 1225 USGS Fact Sheet (1999)

View full list of Study Unit summary reports and press releases


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