In 1991, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) began studies of 51 major river basins and aquifers across the United States as part of the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program to provide scientifically sound information for managing the Nation's water resources. The major goals of the NAWQA Program are to assess the status and long-term trends of the Nation's surface- and ground-water quality and to understand the natural and human factors that affect it (Gilliom and others, 1995).
In 2001, the NAWQA Program began a second decade of intensive water-quality assessments. The 42 study units for this second decade were selected to represent a wide range of important hydrologic environments and potential contaminant sources. These NAWQA studies continue to address the goals of the first decade of the assessments to determine how water-quality conditions are changing over time. In addition to local- and regional-scale studies, NAWQA began to analyze and synthesize water-quality status and trends at the principal aquifer and major river-basin scales.
This fact sheet summarizes results from four NAWQA studies that relate water quality to agricultural chemical use and environmental setting at these various scales:
* Comparison of ground-water quality in northern and southern High Plains agricultural settings (principal aquifer scale);
* Distribution patterns of pesticides and degradates in rain (local scale);
* Occurrence of pesticides in shallow ground water underlying four agricultural areas (local and regional scales); and
* Trends in nutrients and sediment over time in the Missouri River and its tributaries (major river-basin scale).
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Relations of Water Quality to Agricultural Chemical Use and Environmental Setting at Various Scales - Results from Selected Studies of the National Water-Quality Assessment Program