The Willamette Basin, Oregon, is one of more than 50 large river basins and aquifer systems (referred to as study units) across the United States where the status and trends of water quality and the factors controlling water quality are being studied by the National Water-Quality Assessment Program of the U.S. Geological Survey. The 12,000-square-mile Willamette Basin Study Unit consists of the Willamette and Sandy River Basins, which are tributary to the Columbia River. The Willamette River is the 13th largest in the conterminous United States in terms of discharge and is the largest of all major United States rivers in terms of discharge per square mile of drainage area. The environmental setting of a study unit includes all natural and human related, land based factors that have the potential to influence the physical, chemical, and/or biological quality of its surface and ground water resources. For the Willamette Basin, these include primarily ecoregions, hydrogeology, climate, hydrology, land use/land cover, and crop types.