In 1993, a 3-year study was begun to describe the geohydrology and water quality of the North Platte River alluvial aquifer near Oshkosh, Garden County, Nebraska. The study's objectives are to evaluate the geohydrologic characteristics of the alluvial aquifer and to establish a network of observation wells for long-term monitoring of temporal variations and spatial distributions of nitrate and major-ion concentrations. Monitor wells were installed at 11 sites near Oshkosh. The geohydrology of the aquifer was characterized based on water-level measurements and two short-term aquifer tests. Bimonthly water samples were collected and analyzed for pH, specific conductivity, water temperature, dissolved oxygen, and nutrients that included dissolved nitrate. Concentrations of major ions were defined from analyses of semiannual water samples. Analyses of the geohydrologic and water-quality data indicate that the aquifer is vulnerable to nitrate contamination. These data also show that nitrate concentrations in ground water flowing into and out of the study area are less than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Maximum Concentration Level of 10 milligrams per liter for drinking water. Ground water from Lost Creek Valley may be mixing with ground water in the North Platte River Valley, somewhat moderating nitrate concentrations near Oshkosh.