Surface water-quality assessment of the Kentucky River Basin, Kentucky; analysis of available water-quality data through 1986
Antarctica A Keystone in a Changing World
FOREWORD One of the great challenges faced by water-resources scientists is providing reliable water-quality information to guide the management and protection of the Nation's water resources. That challenge is being addressed by Federal, State, interstate, and local water-resources agencies and by academic institutions. Many of these organizations are collecting water-quality data for a host of purposes, including compliance with permits and water-supply standards; development of remediation
... ans for specific contamination problems; operational decisions on industrial, wastewater, or water-supply facilities; and research to advance our understanding of water-quality processes. In fact, during the past two decades, tens of billions of dollars have been spent on water-quality data-collection programs. Unfortunately, the utility of these data for present and future regional and national assessments is limited by such factors as the areal extent of the sampling network, the frequency of sample collection, the varied collection and analytical procedures, and the types of water-quality characteristics determined. To address this deficiency, the Congress appropriated funds for the U.S. Geological Survey, beginning in 1986, to test and refine concepts for a National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program that, if fully implemented, would: 1. Provide a nationally consistent description of water-quality conditions for a large part of the Nation's water resources; 2. Define long-term trends (or lack of trends) in water quality; and 3. Identify, describe, and explain, as possible, the major factors that affect observed water-quality conditions and trends. As presently envisioned, a full-scale NAWQA Program would be accomplished through investigations of a large set of major river basins and aquifer systems that are distributed throughout the Nation and that account for a large percentage of the Nation's population and freshwater use. Each investigation would be conducted by a small team that is familiar with the river basin or aquifer system. Thus, the investigations would take full advantage of the region-specific knowledge of persons in the areas under study. Four surface-water projects and three ground-water projects are being conducted as part of the pilot program to test and refine the assessment methods and to help determine the need for and the feasibility of a full-scale program. An initial activity of each pilot project is to compile, screen, and interpret available data to provide an initial description of water-quality conditions and trends in the study area. The results of this analysis of available data are presented in individual reports for each project.