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

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

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Surface-Water Status & Trends, NAWQA

Project Title: Surface-Water Status & Trends, NAWQA
Project Number: 4571CRM
Project Chief: Crawford, Charles G.
Project Start Date: 01-OCT-2006
Project End Date:

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 following broad objectives for NAWQA SWST:

  1. Characterize the concentrations of NAWQA target constituents and ecological condition in rivers and streams.
  2. Characterize the occurrence of pesticides, VOCs, pharmaceuticals, and wastewater indicators in stream source waters and finished drinking water.
  3. Characterize the concentrations of total and methyl mercury in stream sediments, water, and fish across gradients of mercury deposition and methylation potential.
  4. Determine long-term trends and changes in NAWQA target constituents and ecological condition in rivers and streams.
  5. Determine the effects of urbanization on particle-associated contaminants (metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and organochlorine compounds).

Strategy and Approach

The redesigned NAWQA SWST fixed-site water chemistry component includes three components: 1) sampling water chemistry every year at 12 integrator sites with watershed characteristics such that they are representative of much of the agricultural or urban characteristics of Major River Basins (MRBs) of the country, 2) sampling water chemistry at 15 indicator sites one year out of every two, and 3) sampling water chemistry at 86 sites (including both integrator and indicator sites) one year out of every four. The SWSTR Committee recommends that changes to the SWST water- chemistry fixed-site network be implemented in FY07.

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