NAWQA - Studying Water Quality Over Time

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Detailed Description

Follow a U.S. Geological Survey hydrologist as he takes part in the National Water-Quality Assessment Program in the Pacific Northwest. In 1991, the U.S. Congress established the program to develop long-term, nationally consistent information on the quality of the Nation’s streams and ground water, and thereby support scientifically sound decisions for water-quality management, regulation, and policy decisions. The objectives of NAWQA are to assess the status and trends of national water-quality conditions and to understand the factors and processes that govern those conditions, thus, addressing the questions: 1. What is the quality of the Nation's streams and ground water? 2. How is water quality changing over time? 3. How do natural factors and human activities affect the quality of streams and ground water?


Image Dimensions: 480 x 360

Date Taken:

Length: 00:02:10

Location Taken: US



[Stream running]

[Birds Chirping]

[Stream trickling]


[Water Splashing]

Title: Steven Sobieszczyk,USGS Hydrologist

So right now we’re over at Burnt Bridge

It’s in Vancouver Washington, so right across
the Columbia from Portland Oregon.

It’s one of the 44 sites I believe in the
Willamette Valley or the Portland Metropolitan

area that is part of the Oregon study and
depending on what site we are looking at there

are a variety of different things we are trying
to determine.

So here we actually have two monitors in the
stream running 24 hours a day, seven days

a week that are recording values every 15
minutes or so and it covers your basic water

quality parameters but then there is also
some newer technologies put on this instrument

that include chlorophyll and blue/green algae.

There is also something called an FDOM, it’s
a fluorescence dissolved organic matter, so

we’re interested in knowing how much broken
down leaflet or how much organics are actually

making it into the stream.

The program we’re out here for as part of
the U.S. Geological Survey is the National

Water Quality Assessment Program, so we have
an acronym for it we call it NAWQA.

It started in the early 90’s and then every
decade or every ten years or so we’ll do

another cycle of these assessments, so what
we’re doing is we’re able to actually

compare and learn about how rivers are responding
to things like urbanization and how people

are … land is being developed, more people
moving in, more people being born, the effect

that has on the water and water quality and
we want to see how that changes over time.

So this data's gonna be available and people
can use that for scouting places to go fishing

and things like that, so government groups,
regulatory agency groups use it, recreationists

can use it and then the USGS uses it for its
own kind of historical record and comparison

and analysis that we like to do.

Produced byRyan McClymont, Public Affairs

Specialist,U.S. Geological Survey
Featured Scientist,Steven Sobieszczyk, Hydrologist,U.S.

Geological Survey
Music provided by,"Springish"

- Gillicuddy