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Design and implementation of the National Water-Quality Assessment Program: a United States example: understanding the limitations of using compliance-monitoring data to assess the water quality of a large river basin

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Abstract

In the 1980s it was determined that existing ambient and compliance-monitoring data could not satisfactorily evaluate the results of hundreds of billions of dollars spent for water-pollution abatement in the United States. At the request of the US Congress, a new programme, the National Water-Quality Assessment, was designed and implemented by government agency, the US Geological Survey (USGS). The Assessment has reported status and trends in surface- and ground-water quality at national, regional, and local scales since 1991. The legislative basis for US monitoring and data-sharing policies are identified as well as the successive phases of the design and implementation of the USGS Assessment. Application to the Danube Basin is suggested. Much of the water-quality monitoring conducted in the United States is designed to comply with Federal and State laws mandated primarily by the Clean Water Act of 1987 and the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1986. Monitoring programs generally focus on rivers upstream and downstream of point-source discharges and at water-supply intakes. Few data are available for aquifer systems, and chemical analyses are often limited to those constituents required by law. In most cases, the majority of the available chemical and streamflow data have provided the information necessary to meet the objectives of the compliance-monitoring programs, but do not necessarily provide the information requires for basin-wide assessments of the water quality at the local, regional, or national scale.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Book chapter
Publication Subtype:
Book Chapter
Title:
Design and implementation of the National Water-Quality Assessment Program: a United States example: understanding the limitations of using compliance-monitoring data to assess the water quality of a large river basin
ISBN:
0792343824
Volume
24
Year Published:
1997
Language:
English
Publisher:
Kluwer Academic Publishers
Publisher location:
Netherlands
Description:
15 p.
Larger Work Type:
Book
Larger Work Subtype:
Other Government Series
Larger Work Title:
Protecting Danube River Basin resources: ensuring access to water quality data and information
First page:
89
Last page:
103
Number of Pages:
15