National Water-Quality Assessment Program
A U.S. Geological Survey scientist collects a sample from the Colorado River for analysis of dissolved solids and other water-quality constituents (USGS photograph by Nancy Bauch).
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) recently completed a regional study in the Southwestern United States to characterize dissolved-solids conditions in major water supplies, including important rivers and aquifers. High concentrations of dissolved solids can degrade a water supply’s suitability for important uses, such as drinking water or crop irrigation. In an effort to ensure the continued availability of clean surface and groundwater, USGS scientists identified areas where there have been both increasing and decreasing trends in dissolved-solids concentrations.
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