Nutrient, suspended-sediment, and pesticide data from surface- and ground-water sites in the South Platte River Basin for water years 1980-92 were compiled, screened, and interpreted. This activity is part of the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA) program. The analysis of existing water-quality data provides a perspective on recent water-quality conditions in the South Platte River Basin, evaluations of the strengths and weaknesses of available data, and implications for water-quality issues and future study priorities and design. Most data analyzed were collected by the U.S. Geological Survey. Additionally, data from three local agencies were used in the analysis. A total of 3,484 samples from 54 surface-water sites and 107 wells were used in the analysis. The areal distribution of nutrient samples collected from surface-water and ground-water sites were sufficient in number and areal distribution to describe current water- quality conditions throughout the basin, but data were not sufficient to analyze factors and processes affecting water quality. However, suspended- sediment and pesticide data were sparse in their distribution with respect to time, space, and flow regime, and were sufficient only to provide a preliminary description of conditions in the basin.