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Water quality status and trends in the United States

January 1, 2013

Information about water quality is vital to ensure long-term availability and sustainability of water that is safe for drinking and recreation and suitable for industry, irrigation, fish, and wildlife. Protecting and enhancing water quality is a national priority, requiring information on water-quality status and trends, progress toward clean water standards, continuing problems, and emerging challenges. In this brief review, we discuss U.S. Geological Survey assessments of nutrient pollution, pesticides, mixtures of organic wastewater compounds (known as emerging contaminants), sediment-bound contaminants (like lead and DDT), and mercury, among other contaminants. Additionally, aspects of land use and current and emerging challenges associated with climate change are presented. Climate change must be considered, as water managers continue their efforts to maintain sufficient water of good quality for humans and for the ecosystem.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2013
Title Water quality status and trends in the United States
DOI 10.1016/B978-0-444-59395-5.00002-9
Authors Matthew C. Larsen, Pixie A. Hamilton, William H. Werkheiser
Publication Type Book Chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Series Title
Series Number
Index ID 70156864
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Office of the AD Climate and Land-Use Change