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The USGS National Water Census (NWC) is designed to systematically provide information that will allow resource managers to assess the quantity, quality, and use of the Nation’s water.

The goal of the National Water Census (NWC) is to provide nationally consistent, well-documented information on water quantity, quality, and use that will allow resource managers to assess the Nation’s water availability and inform decision-making. The Water Availability and Use Science Program (WAUSP) supports this goal by investing in efforts to assess and provide information on the inputs, the outputs, and changes in the water budget. Furthermore, the USGS is examining the dynamic interactions and complex roles that major factors (i.e., water quality, drought, ecological flows, and water use) can have in water availability. Estimates of water budget components, as well as an understanding of how various factors can impact water availability, provide a means for the USGS to assess water availability.