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NAWQA Periodic National Summary (OR 178)

PROJECT CHIEF: Joseph Rinella

LOCATION: Nationwide


From 1998 FY through 2000 FY, the National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Periodic National Summary Team (PNST) will produce a series of management-oriented, policy-relevant reports that encapsulate findings of the 1991 NAWQA Study Unit (SU) investigations as well as findings from the National Synthesis investigations.


Specific objectives of the study are to produce:

  1. A National Summary report based on significant findings and conclusions in the 1991 SU summary reports and, where possible, in the National Synthesis reports. Information from the reports will be compiled and analyzed at national and (or) regional scales. Emphasis will be placed on cause and effect relations, low-level pesticide concentrations, and other chemicals in surface and ground water in order to clearly differentiate this USGS National Summary report from EPA's National Water Quality Summary of the individual State 305(b) reports;

  2. One or more topical summary reports on 1991 SU constituents that were not interpreted in the 1991 SU summary reports or in the National Synthesis reports (described as "orphan constituents" in this work plan);

  3. Two theme-oriented reports based on findings from the National Summary report, PNST topical reports, 1991 SU summary reports, National Synthesis reports, and NAWQA's 1991 SU database.


The primary sources of information for compilation and analyses in the National Summary Report are the 1991 SU summary reports and any related reports produced by the National Synthesis Teams. The National Summary Report will be written for Congress, informed citizens, and water-resource managers and planners at National, State, Tribal, and local levels. The report will utilize graphical and tabular presentations that are easily understood. Significant findings will be summarized and evaluated on the basis of percentile distributions of constituent concentrations and, to the extent possible, on the basis of water-quality criteria and standards for protection of aquatic life and for drinking water. Emphasis will be placed on interstudy-unit comparisons of chemical concentrations in water, sediment, and fish tissue in addition to comparisons of ecological conditions including habitat and fish community structure. Emphasis also will be placed on identifying land-use factors (including environmental and climatic settings, chemical use, population, and basin size) that have the potential for impacting water quality.


Circular 1225. The Quality of Our Nation's Waters--Nutrients and Pesticides, by the U.S. Geological Survey, 83 p. 1999 Available online

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