National Water Quality Program

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Filter Total Items: 104
Date published: September 1, 2021

USGS uses watershed modeling to assess surface-water nutrient impairment across the Pacific Northwest and California

The region-wide, reach-scale results from a new study provide two new tools that might help water-quality managers. One is an estimate of the total contribution from point and diffuse sources to the loads delivered to nutrient-impaired water bodies. The other is a method to assess potential nutrient impairment based on estimated warm-weather dissolved oxygen and pH conditions. 

Date published: July 6, 2021

Media Alert: USGS Dye Tracing Study on the Kansas River to Aid in Protecting Water Supplies

U.S. Geological Survey scientists and partners will inject a harmless, bright red fluorescent dye into the Kansas River at Eudora July 7-9, weather permitting.

Date published: May 24, 2021

Potential toxicity of pesticides to aquatic life in U.S. rivers is widespread

new USGS study of pesticides in U.S. rivers and streams reports that, on average, 17 pesticides were detected at least once at the 74 river and stream sites sampled 12 to 24 times per year during 2013–2017. Herbicides were detected much more frequently than insecticides and fungicides.

Date published: April 27, 2021

3-D Models of High Concentrations of As and Mn in Glacial Aquifer Groundwater

New 3-dimensional models predict where high concentrations of arsenic and manganese are likely to occur in the glacial aquifer system, reports a new study from the U.S. Geological Survey National Water Quality Program. The glacial aquifer system, which underlies parts of 25 states across the northern U.S., supplies groundwater for...

Date published: April 21, 2021

New study predicts levels of algal bloom toxins from readily available measurements

Emerald-green harmful algal blooms have become an all-too-familiar summertime sight in many U.S. lakes and reservoirs. A new study successfully predicts when mixtures of the toxins produced by these blooms in Kabetogama Lake, Voyageurs National Park, will exceed drinking-water guidelines.

Date published: April 2, 2021

The Quality of Our Groundwater—Progress on a National Survey

A U.S. Geological Survey study of groundwater quality across the nation that began in 2013 now includes water-quality information for 18 of the most heavily used aquifers in the nation.

Date published: March 4, 2021

Homing in on sources and yields of nitrogen and phosphorus throughout the Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Basin

A new USGS study estimates total nitrogen (N) and total phosphorus (P) yields from catchments throughout the Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Basin, which drains about 41% of the conterminous United States.

Date published: February 18, 2021

Chemical mixtures are common in small streams in the U.S.

Mixtures of organic chemicals are ubiquitous in small U.S. streams, reports a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey. In many streams the mixtures could be affecting stream organisms.

Date published: February 11, 2021

Lithium in U.S. Groundwater

A new USGS study reports that about 45% of public-supply wells and about 37% of U.S. domestic supply wells have concentrations of lithium that could present a potential human-health risk.

Date published: February 8, 2021

Decreased flow projected for Southwest streams by end of century

Streamflow in the Southwestern U.S. is projected to decrease by as much as 36–80% by the end of this century, reports a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey. Decreases of this magnitude would challenge our ability to meet future water demand in this region and could jeopardize compliance with interstate and international water-...

Date published: January 21, 2021

Strontium in U.S. Groundwater Used for Drinking-Water Source

A new USGS study reports that about 2.3 percent of drinking-water wells in the U.S. have concentrations of strontium at levels that present a potential human health risk. These wells provide water for an estimated 2.3 million people.

Date published: January 19, 2021

New 3-D models predict pH conditions throughout the glacial aquifer system

A new 3-D model predicts pH in groundwater at all depths across the 25-state span of the glacial aquifer system, reports an article by the USGS. The glacial aquifer system provides more water—about 2.6 billion gallons per day—for domestic and public supplies than any other aquifer in the United States.