U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1239
This circular is available as a pdf.
This report contains the major findings of a 1999–2001 assessment of water quality on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. It is one of a series of reports by the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program that present major findings in 51 major river basins and aquifer systems across the Nation.
In these reports, water quality is discussed in terms of local, State, and regional issues. Conditions in a particular basin or aquifer system are compared to conditions found elsewhere and to selected national benchmarks, such as those for drinking-water quality and the protection of aquatic organisms.
This report is intended for individuals working with water-resource issues in Federal, State, or local agencies, universities, public interest groups, or in the private sector. The information will be useful in addressing a number of current issues, such as the effects of agricultural and urban land use on water quality, human health, drinking water, source-water protection, and excessive growth of algae and plants, pesticide registration, and monitoring and sampling strategies. This report is also for individuals who wish to know more about the quality of streams and ground water in areas near where they live, and how that water quality compares to the quality of water in other areas across the Nation.
The water-quality conditions on Oahu summarized in this report are discussed in detail in other reports that can be accessed from (http://hi.water.usgs.gov/nawqa). Detailed technical information, data and analyses, collection and analytical methodology, models, graphs, and maps that support the findings presented in this report in addition to reports in this series from other basins can be accessed from the national NAWQA Web site (http://water.usgs.gov/nawqa).
National Water-Quality Assessment Program
What kind of water-quality information does the NAWQA Program provide?
Introduction to this Report
Summary of Major Findings
Introduction to the Oahu Study Unit
Land use is changing from agriculture to urban
Ground water provides public supplies, streams provide aquatic
Drinking-water aquifer is vulnerable to contamination
Below-normal rainfall may have affected water quality
Organic compounds were detected in most wells, but few concentrations
exceeded drinking-water standards
Nutrient concentrations were elevated in agricultural areas
but did not exceed
Land use and aquifer vulnerability influence ground-water contamination
Mixtures of organic compounds were common in ground water
Ground-water contamination in central Oahu reflects decades-old
former land use
Contaminants in stream water varied with land use, storms,
Excess nutrients may adversely affect stream and coastal ecosystems
Streambed Sediment and Fish Tissue
Aquatic habitat is degraded by nonpoint-source pollution
Discontinued organochlorine pesticides persist in the environment
Human activities elevate trace elements in stream sediments
Urban alteration of stream habitat has adversely affected native aquatic species
Benthic invertebrates reflect degraded stream quality
Most identified invertebrates were nonnative
Study Unit Design
Appendix. Water Quality Data from the Island of Oahu, Hawaii, in a National Context
The companion Web site for NAWQA summary reports:
USGS State Representative
U.S. Geological Survey
677 Ala Moana Blvd. Suite 415
Honolulu, HI 96813
Chief, NAWQA Program
U.S. Geological Survey
Water Resources Discipline
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, M.S. 413
Reston, VA 20192
For sale by
U.S. Geological Survey,
Box 25286, Denver Federal Center
Denver, CO 80225
For more information about the USGS and its products:
World Wide Web: http://www.usgs.gov/
The text and graphics are presented here in pdf format (print quality). The full report is 28.1MB.
If you have Adobe® Acrobat® or Adobe® Acrobat® Reader® installed on your computer, you may view and print the PDF version of this report. Acrobat Reader, is a free download it from Adobe Systems, Inc. Users with disabilities can view information concerning accessibility at access.adobe.com.
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