A summary of the U.S. Geological Survey National Water-Quality Assessment program

Open-File Report 88-95

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Beginning in 1986, the Congress appropriated funds for the U.S. Geological Survey to test and refine concepts for a National Water Quality Assessment Program. At present, the program is in a pilot phase with field studies occurring in seven areas around the Nation. In 1990, a committee of the National Academy of Sciences will complete an evaluation of the design and potential utility of the program. A decision about moving to full-scale implementation will be made upon completion of this evaluation. The program is intended to address a wide range of national water quality issues that include chemical contamination, acidification, eutrophication, salinity, sedimentation, and sanitary quality. The goals of the program are to: (1) provide nationally consistent descriptions of current water quality conditions for a large part of the Nation 's water resources; (2) define long-term trends (or lack of trends) in water quality; and (3) identify and describe the relations of both current conditions and trends in water quality to natural and human factors. This information will be provided to water managers, policy makers, and the public to provide an improved scientific basis for evaluating the effectiveness of water quality management programs and for predicting the likely effects of contemplated changes in land- and water-management practices. (USGS)

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A summary of the U.S. Geological Survey National Water-Quality Assessment program
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Open-File Report
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U.S. Geological Survey,
7 p. ;28 cm.