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Fact Sheet 2014–3024

National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program

Groundwater Studies: Principal Aquifer Surveys

By Karen R. Burow and Kenneth Belitz

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (1.6 MB)Summary

In 1991, the U.S. Congress established the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) program within the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to develop nationally consistent long-term datasets and provide information about the quality of the Nation’s streams and groundwater. The USGS uses objective and reliable data, water-quality models, and systematic scientific studies to assess current water-quality conditions, to identify changes in water quality over time, and to determine how natural factors and human activities affect the quality of streams and groundwater. NAWQA is the only non-regulatory Federal program to perform these types of studies; participation is voluntary.

In the third decade (Cycle 3) of the NAWQA program (2013–2023), the USGS will evaluate the quality and availability of groundwater for drinking supply, improve our understanding of where and why water quality is degraded, and assess how groundwater quality could respond to changes in climate and land use. These goals will be addressed through the implementation of a new monitoring component in Cycle 3: Principal Aquifer Surveys.

First posted April 9, 2014

For additional information, contact:
NAWQA Groundwater Project Chief
U.S. Geological Survey
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, MS 413
Reston, VA 20192-0002

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Suggested citation:

Burow, K.R., and Belitz, Kenneth, 2014, Groundwater studies—Principal aquifer surveys: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2014-3024, 2p.,

ISSN 2327-6916 (print)

ISSN 2327-6932 (online)

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