National Water Quality Program

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The National Water Quality Program provides an understanding of water-quality conditions; whether conditions are getting better or worse over time; and how natural features and human activities affect those conditions.

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Featured: Updated Information on Groundwater Quality

Featured: Updated Information on Groundwater Quality

Three new USGS fact sheets update information on groundwater quality in the nation's most heavily used aquifers. Fact sheets are now available for the Edwards-Trinity aquifer system, the Stream Valley aquifers, and the Colorado Plateau aquifers

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Featured: Pesticide Transformation Products in Small U.S. Streams

Featured: Pesticide Transformation Products in Small U.S. Streams

Pesticide transformation products are ubiquitous in small U.S. streams, reports a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey, and could be a missing piece to the toxicity puzzle for aquatic life in headwater streams.

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News

Date published: April 2, 2021

The Quality of Our Groundwater—Progress on a National Survey

A U.S. Geological Survey study of groundwater quality across the nation that began in 2013 now includes water-quality information for 18 of the most heavily used aquifers in the nation.

Date published: March 4, 2021

Homing in on sources and yields of nitrogen and phosphorus throughout the Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Basin

A new USGS study estimates total nitrogen (N) and total phosphorus (P) yields from catchments throughout the Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Basin, which drains about 41% of the conterminous United States.

Date published: February 18, 2021

Chemical mixtures are common in small streams in the U.S.

Mixtures of organic chemicals are ubiquitous in small U.S. streams, reports a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey. In many streams the mixtures could be affecting stream organisms.

Publications

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Year Published: 2021

Groundwater-quality and select quality-control data from the National Water-Quality Assessment Project, January 2017 through December 2019

Groundwater-quality environmental data were collected from 983 wells as part of the National Water-Quality Assessment Project of the U.S. Geological Survey National Water Quality Program and are included in this report. The data were collected from six types of well networks: principal aquifer study networks, which are used to assess the quality...

Kingsbury, James A.; Bexfield, Laura M.; Arnold, Terri; Musgrove, MaryLynn; Erickson, Melinda L.; Degnan, James R.; Tesoriero, Anthony J.; Lindsey, Bruce D.; Belitz, Kenneth
Kingsbury, J.A., Bexfield, L.M., Arnold, T., Musgrove, M., Erickson, M.L., Degnan, J.R., Tesoriero, A.J., Lindsey, B.D., and Belitz, K., 2021, Groundwater-quality and select quality-control data from the National Water-Quality Assessment Project, January 2017 through December 2019: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1136, 97 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ds1136.

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Year Published: 2020

Pesticide mixtures show potential toxicity to aquatic life in U.S. streams, water years 2013-2017

During water years (WY) 2013–2017, the U.S. Geological Survey, National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Project, sampled the National Water Quality Network – Rivers and Streams (NWQN) year-round and reported on 221 pesticides at 72 sites across the United States in agricultural, developed, and mixed land use watersheds. The Pesticide Toxicity...

Covert, S. Alex.; Shoda, Megan E.; Stackpoole, Sarah M.; Stone, Wesley W.

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Year Published: 2019

Hydrocarbons in upland groundwater, Marcellus Shale Region, Northeastern Pennsylvania and Southern New York, USA

Water samples from 50 domestic wells located <1 km (proximal) and >1 km (distal) from shale-gas wells in upland areas of the Marcellus Shale region were analyzed for chemical, isotopic, and groundwater-age tracers. Uplands were targeted because natural mixing with brine and hydrocarbons from deep formations is less common in those areas...

McMahon, Peter B.; Lindsey, Bruce D.; Conlon, Matthew D.; Hunt, Andrew G.; Belitz, Kenneth; Jurgens, Bryant; Varela, Brian