Delaware River Basin NAWQA Study
DELAWARE RIVER BASIN NAWQA
USGS IN YOUR STATE
USGS Water Science Centers are located in each state.
Major Water-Quality Issues in the Delaware River Basin
Advances in the treatment of municipal and industrial waste and changes in manufacturing and processing techniques over the past 25 years have led to improved water quality in many parts of the Delaware River Basin. One indication of this improvement is the return of shad runs to the Delaware River. The presence of toxic compounds, however, still leads to consumption advisories for many fish species, and nutrient loadings adversely affect water quality and the health of ecological communities. Many of the water-quality issues in the Delaware River Basin can be related to the high human population density in the area and related activities associated with urban, industrial, and agricultural land use. Most concerns are related to human health (the quality of domestic water supply, the safety of water contact recreation, and the safety of eating game fish) and the health of ecological communities.
Some of the major water-quality issues that are currently being addressed by water-resource managers in the Delaware River Basin include:
The Delaware River Basin NAWQA study will characterize spatial and temporal variations in water quality and relate those changes to natural processes and human factors. This scientific characterization can be used by water-resource managers, State and local governments, citizens' groups, and planners as a basis for implementing water-quality management actions and evaluating long-term changes in water quality.