New Online Tool Tracks Water Quality in the Nation’s Rivers and Streams

Release Date:

A new USGS online tool provides graphical summaries of nutrients and sediment levels in rivers and streams across the Nation.

images from National Water-Quality Tool
The National Water-Quality Tool offers graphical forms of historical and current information about: water quality in the Nation's rivers and streams (top panel); nutrient loading in the tributaries of the Mississippi River (middle panel); and nitrate loads and yields in coastal rivers (bottom panel). 

A new USGS online tool provides graphical summaries of nutrients and sediment levels in rivers and streams across the Nation.

The online tool can be used to compare recent water-quality conditions to long-term conditions (1993-2014), download water-quality datasets (streamflow, concentrations, and loads), and evaluate nutrient loading to coastal areas and large tributaries throughout the Mississippi River Basin.

"Clean water is essential for public water supplies, fisheries, and recreation. It's vital to our health and economy,” said William Werkheiser, USGS associate director for water. “This annual release of water quality information in graphical form will provide resource managers with timely information on the quality of water in our rivers and streams and how it is changing over time.”

Graphical summaries of nutrients and sediment are available for 106 river and stream sites monitored as part of the USGS National Water-Quality Network for Rivers and Streams.

This tool was developed by the USGS National Water-Quality Assessment Program, which conducts regional and national assessments of the nation’s water quality to provide an understanding of water-quality conditions, whether conditions are getting better or worse over time, and how natural processes and human activities affect those conditions.