Surface-Water Quality and Ecology

Featured Study: Mercury isotopes in fish provide clues to source

Featured Study: Mercury isotopes in fish provide clues to source

Isotopes of mercury in fish can indicate the source of that mercury, reports a new USGS study. The groundbreaking study is among the first to use mercury isotopes in fish tissue to track mercury sources.

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Stream Quality Viewer Shows Contaminants, Nutrients, and Stream Health

Stream Quality Viewer Shows Contaminants, Nutrients, and Stream Health

Try the new update to an online interactive tool for learning about pesticides, nutrients, and overall stream health in major regions of the U.S.  Results for the Northeast and Pacific Northwest now available!

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Science Center Objects

Research by the USGS National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Project on water quality of rivers and streams covers a broad range of topics, from nonpoint pollution issues to vulnerability of aquatic ecosystems. Dive in and find out more about current water-quality conditions, how and where water quality is changing, and the latest information on pesticides, nutrients, and other contaminants.

The Nation's rivers and streams are a priceless resource—they provide drinking water for a growing population, irrigation for crops, habitat for aquatic life, and countless recreational opportunities.
 

NAWQA research on surface-water quality is focusing on three areas:

Explore NAWQA science on topics related to water quality in streams and rivers

Relations between land use and surface-water quality 

   Urban

   Agricultural

Contaminants in surface water

   Nutrients

   Pesticides

   Emerging contaminants (pharmaceuticals, personal-care products, and more)

   Sediment-associated contaminants (metals, pesticides, PAHs, and more)

   Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)

   Mercury

Relations to aquatic life

   Stream ecology

   Mercury in stream ecosystems

   Flow alteration

   Harmful algal blooms (HABs)

Drinking water issues

   Drinking and source water

   Chloride and salinity

   Corrosivity

   Water-quality benchmarks

Trends in water quality

   Water-quality trends from lake sediment cores

   Water-quality trends

 

How do we do it?  

Access USGS publications and manuals on sample-collection methods.

 

Looking for information on groundwater quality as well?  

Explore these links:

   Groundwater

   Surface-water/groundwater interaction