National Water Quality Program

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The National Water Quality Program provides an understanding of water-quality conditions; whether conditions are getting better or worse over time; and how natural features and human activities affect those conditions.

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Featured: Lithium in Our Nation's Groundwater

Featured: Lithium in Our Nation

Got lithium? 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.

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Featured: Chemical Mixtures in Small U.S. Streams

Featured: Chemical Mixtures in Small U.S. Streams

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.

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News

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-...

Publications

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Year Published: 2020

Pesticide mixtures show potential toxicity to aquatic life in U.S. streams, water years 2013-2017

During water years (WY) 2013–2017, the U.S. Geological Survey, National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Project, sampled the National Water Quality Network – Rivers and Streams (NWQN) year-round and reported on 221 pesticides at 72 sites across the United States in agricultural, developed, and mixed land use watersheds. The Pesticide Toxicity...

Covert, S. Alex.; Shoda, Megan E.; Stackpoole, Sarah M.; Stone, Wesley W.

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Year Published: 2019

Hydrocarbons in upland groundwater, Marcellus Shale Region, Northeastern Pennsylvania and Southern New York, USA

Water samples from 50 domestic wells located <1 km (proximal) and >1 km (distal) from shale-gas wells in upland areas of the Marcellus Shale region were analyzed for chemical, isotopic, and groundwater-age tracers. Uplands were targeted because natural mixing with brine and hydrocarbons from deep formations is less common in those areas...

McMahon, Peter B.; Lindsey, Bruce D.; Conlon, Matthew D.; Hunt, Andrew G.; Belitz, Kenneth; Jurgens, Bryant; Varela, Brian

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Year Published: 2019

Estimating domestic well locations and populations served in the contiguous U.S. for years 2000 and 2010

Domestic wells provide drinking water supply for approximately 40 million people in the United States. Knowing the location of these wells, and the populations they serve, is important for identifying heavily used aquifers, locations susceptible to contamination, and populations potentially impacted by poor-quality groundwater. The 1990 census was...

Johnson, Tyler D.; Belitz, Kenneth; Lombard, Melissa