Introduction to this report and the NAWQA series
The Quality of Our Nation's Waters

U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1225--The Quality of Our Nation's Waters Nutrients and Pesticides

A woman taking a water sample.

Photo by Douglas A. Harned

This report is the first in a series of nontechnical publications, The Quality of Our Nation's Waters, that describe major findings of the NAWQA Program on water-quality issues of regional and national concern. This first report presents insights on nutrients and pesticides in water and on pesticides in bed sediment and fish tissue. It represents a compilation of findings in the first 20 Study Units.1 Subsequent reports in this series will cover other water-quality constituents of concern, such as radon, arsenic, other trace elements, and industrial chemicals, as well as physical and chemical effects on aquatic ecosystems. Each report will build toward a more comprehensive understanding of regional and national water resources as assessments in other Study Units are completed and as scientific models and tools that link water-quality conditions, dominant sources, and environmental characteristics are applied in geographic areas not covered by NAWQA Study Units.

The information in this series is intended primarily for those interested or involved in resource management, conservation, regulation, and policy making at regional and national levels. In addition, the information might interest those at a local level who simply wish to know more about the general quality of streams and ground water in areas near where they live, and how that quality compares to other areas across the Nation.

Charles G. Groat, Director
U.S. Geological Survey

1Summaries of water-quality assessments for the first 20 Study Units are available as USGS Circulars and on the World Wide Web. Information on accessing these summaries is provided on p. 80.

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