NAWQANational Water Quality Assessment Program
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However, only through collaboration with numerous government, research, and interest--group partners can we ensure that NAWQA information will meet the needs of local, state, regional, and national stakeholders.
Although a complete national picture of water-quality problems is not yet a reality, the last decade of studies by NAWQA has documented significant contaminant patterns in some of the most important river basins and aquifers.
NAWQA demonstrates nonpoint chemical contamination is an issue in the 120 agricultural and 35 urban watersheds assessed.
NAWQA findings over the last decade confirm the need for long term systematic and consistent monitoring, which is essential for distinguishing trends from short term fluctuations, evaluating how well management strategies are working, and choosing the most cost-effective resource strategies for the future.
The states of Washington and New Jersey have already used NAWQA data as a foundation for targeting state resources more precisely and cost-effectively toward high-risk wells.
While pesticides do move through waterways and sometimes over great distances, the probability that excessive chemical use on just a few farms or suburban lawns could be transported so widely as to cause the patterns of prevalent detection revealed by NAWQA monitoring is very low.
Only 10 of the 75 pesticides NAWQA detected have legally-enforceable drinking water standards, and 6 have EPA aquatic-life criteria guidelines for protecting fish and other aquatic organisms.
All references to water-quality conditions in the 20 watersheds investigated by NAWQA are based on data available on the Pesticides National Synthesis Project pages of the USGS-NAWQA internet site: http://water.
As part of the USNK NAWQA study, water samples were collected at 31 sites during May and June 1994.
Data from this study will be compared with data from other NAWQA studies to determine whether the relations in the USNK adequately describe relations in other large drainage basins in the nation.