Ecological opportunities in the National Water-Quality Assessment program (NAWQA)
By M.E. Gurtz
The U.S. Geological Survey's new National Water-Quality Assessment Program (NAWQA) is designed to describe the status and trends of the quality of the Nation's water resources and to provide an understanding of the factors that affect the quality of these resources. Sixty study-unit investigations will be conducted (delimited by river-basin or major aquifer-system boundaries) throughout the United States to provide a framework for national and regional water-quality assessments. These investigations will be conducted in rotation, with 20 study units to begin planning activities in fiscal year 1991. The program will provide opportunities for addressing ecological questions at several levels-local, regional, and national. Ecological surveys in most study units will include the examination of aquatic communities (fish, invertebrates, and algae), coupled with analysis of biological tissues for trace elements and synthetic organic compounds. Protocols for site selection, habitat evaluation, and sampling methods will strive for national consistency wherever possible, thereby facilitating comparisons within and among basins. Opportunities exist for collaborative research activities, liaison group participation, and data sharing.
Gurtz, M.E., 1991, Ecological opportunities in the National Water-Quality Assessment program (NAWQA) [abs.], in Supplement to Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America, Program and Abstracts, 76th Annual ESA Meeting, San Antonio, TX, August 4-8, 1991: Ecological Society of America, v. 72, no. 2, p. 131-132.
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