The Water Resources Division of the U.S. Geological Survey began the design and development of a National Water Information System (NWIS) in 1983. The NWIS will replace and integrate the existing data systems of the National Water Data Storage and Retrieval System, National Water Data Exchange, National Water-Use Information Program, and Water Resources Scientific Information Center. The NWIS has been designed as an interactive, distributed data system. The software system has been designed in a modular manner which integrates existing software functions and allows multiple use of software modules. The data base has been designed as a relational data model that allows integrated storage of the existing water data, water-use data, and water-data indexing information by using a common relational data base management system. The NWIS will be operated on microcomputers located in each of the Water Resources Division's District offices and many of its State, subdistrict, and field offices. The microcomputers will be linked together through a national telecommunication network maintained by the U. S. Geological Survey. The NWIS is scheduled to be placed in operation in 1990.