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Great Falls of the Passaic River at Paterson, N.J

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Ground-Water Status & Trends, NAWQA

Project Title: Ground-Water Status & Trends, NAWQA
Project Number: 4571CRK
Project Chief: Lapham, Wayne W.
Project: 01-OCT-2006
Period of Project: 01-OCT-2006

Project Objectives

The USGS National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program addresses three long-term goals:

  1. Describe the status and trends in the quality of a large, representative part of the Nation's surface-water and groundwater resources.
  2. Provide an improved understanding of the primary natural factors and human activities affecting these conditions.
  3. Provide information that supports development and evaluation of management, regulatory, and monitoring decisions by other Federal, State, and local agencies. The NAWQA Trend Network for ground water is designed to address objective T1 and partially address objectives T3 and T5:

Objective (T1) Determine long-term trends and changes in the concentrations of NAWQA target constituents in (a) 16 principal aquifer systems of the U.S. that have high use for drinking water and are representative of major aquifer lithologies, and (b) recently recharged ground water upgradient of these principal aquifers in a nationally representative range of hydrologic and land-use settings.

Objective (T3) - Determine the effects of urbanization on the concentrations and distributions of NAWQA target constituents in shallow or recently recharged ground water.

Objective (T5) - Determine the effects of long-term changes in agricultural management practices on the concentrations and distributions of NAWQA target constituents in shallow or recently recharged ground water.

Strategy and Approach

Achievement of these objectives within the NAWQA budget for ground-water trend assessment requires careful selection of relatively few studies. For example, some study units, particularly those not overlying a principal aquifer system, may not contain ground-water trend studies that are part of the NAWQA trends network. The following characteristics, which sometimes conflict, are used in selecting studies and determining sampling strategies.

Sources

  • Representative coverage of the major agricultural and urban land uses of the nation Transport Processes
  • Representative coverage of the diversity of hydrologic environments of the nation, as represented by hydrologic landscapes and other hydrogeologic characteristics

Effects

  • Representative coverage of the principal aquifers of the nation that are most heavily used as sources of drinking water by metropolitan and rural populations.

The main focus of the NAWQA trend network design is to resample, by a three-tiered sampling strategy, selected Cycle I ground-water studies. Additional new studies (not conducted during Cycle I) will be added to the NAWQA trends network after completing their initial status assessment in Cycle II. These selected new studies are necessary to improve coverage of the range of source, transport and effect conditions found across the United States.

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Page Last Modified: Monday, 14-Jan-2013 11:10:02 EST