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National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program 

Potomac River Basin Study Unit

In 1991, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) began to implement a full-scale National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) program. The long-term goals of the NAWQA program are to describe the status and trends in the quality of a large, representative part of the Nation's surface-water and ground-water resources and to provide sound, scientific understanding of the primary natural and human factors affecting the quality of these resources. In meeting these goals, the program will produce a wealth of water-quality information that will be useful to policy makers and managers at the national, State, and local levels.

The Potomac study units first high-intensity phase began in 1991 and ended in 1995, one of nineteen across the country. By 1997, the NAWQA program consisted of 60 study units investigating major river basins and aquifer systems that will account for about one-half of the Nation's land area and two-thirds of the Nation's water use and population. Currently, the Potomac study unit is in the low-intensity phase of the program.

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    Last Modified: 10-December-1998