A thorough assessment of the analytical capabilities of inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry was conducted for selected analytes of importance in water quality applications and hydrologic research. A multielement calibration curve technique was designed to produce accurate and precise results in analysis times of approximately one minute. The suite of elements included Al, As, B, Ba, Be, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Hg, Li, Mn, Mo, Ni, Pb, Se, Sr, V, and Zn. The effects of sample matrix composition on the accuracy of the determinations showed that matrix elements (such as Na, Ca, Mg, and K) that may be present in natural water samples at concentration levels greater than 50 mg/L resulted in as much as a 10% suppression in ion current for analyte elements. Operational detection limits are presented.