Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint, National Water Quality Assessment Program, Water Resources Discipline, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Department of the Interior
Data Center Description
About the Program
The USGS implemented the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program in 1991 to develop long-term consistent and comparable information on streams, rivers, ground water, and aquatic systems in support of national, regional, State, and local information needs and decisions related to water-quality management and policy. The NAWQA program is designed to address the following objectives and answer these questions:
1. What is the condition of our Nation's streams, rivers, and ground water? 2. How are these conditions changing over time? 3. How do natural features and human activities affect these conditions, and where are those effects most pronounced?
USGS scientists collect and interpret data about surface- and ground-water chemistry, hydrology, land use, stream habitat, and aquatic life in parts or all of nearly all 50 States using a nationally consistent study design and uniform methods of sampling analysis (access NAWQA protocols).
From 1991-2001, the NAWQA Program conducted interdisciplinary assessments and established a baseline understanding of water-quality conditions in 51 of the Nation's river basins and aquifers, referred to as Study Units. Descriptions of water-quality conditions in streams and ground water were developed in more than a thousand reports (access NAWQA publications). Non-technical Summary Reports, written primarily for those interested or involved in resource management, conservation, regulation, and policymaking, were completed for each of the 51 Study Units. Non-technical national summary reports on pesticides, nutrients, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) also were completed, in which water-quality conditions were compared to national standards and guidelines related to drinking water, protection of aquatic life, and nutrient enrichment.
NAWQA activities during the second decade (2001-2012) focus in large part on national and regional assessments, all of which build on continued monitoring and assessments in 42 of the 51 Study Units completed in the first cycle (USGS Fact Sheet 071-01).