Welcome to the National Water Quality Program

Welcome to the National Water Quality Program (NWQP), where we collect data and provide information about the quality of our Nation’s water resources to support science-based policies and effective management strategies.

Hydrologist collecting water samples from a large well pipe

We encourage you to explore our website—it’s your doorway to a wide variety of USGS information about water quality of streams, rivers, lakes, reservoirs, groundwater, and precipitation, and about relations between water quality and aquatic ecology and human health. Our scientists collect and interpret data in key areas of surface-water and groundwater quality science, including hydrology, land use, stream habitat, and aquatic life, and use it to understand the factors that affect current water quality and will drive future changes.

Here you’ll find information on the National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Project, the National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP), the USGS National Park Service Water Quality Partnership (NPS-WQP), and additional cooperative programs for special topics such as urban water quality. The website provides easy access to databases, interactive tools, interpretive reports, photos, videos, maps, and more. If you’re interested in the water quality of our streams, rivers, groundwater, or precipitation, or in learning how that water quality affects the aquatic life that calls our streams home or potentially impacts drinking water, you’ve come to the right place.

NWQP scientists address key issues important to people and communities, including the quality of source water used for drinking, nutrients delivered to our coastal waters, and sources of contaminants in streams and fish. Our data collection and interpretation efforts are designed to support national, regional, state, and local information needs and decisions related to water-quality management and policy. Don’t hesitate to contact us directly to learn more about the work we do, communicate your information needs, or connect with our scientists.