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About

The National Water Quality Network (NWQN) for Rivers and Streams includes 113 surface-water river and stream sites monitored by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water-Quality Program (NWQP). The NWQN includes 22 large river coastal sites, 41 large river inland sites, 30 wadeable stream reference sites, 10 wadeable stream urban sites, and 10 wadeable stream agricultural sites.  Twelve of the large river inland and large river coastal sites incorporate continuous nitrate monitors. In addition to the 113 NWQP sites, 3 large inland river monitoring sites from the USGS Cooperative Water Program are included in this annual water-quality reporting Web site to be consistent with previous USGS studies of nutrient transport in the Mississippi-Atchafalaya River Basin.

The primary objectives addressed by the NWQN are to: 

  • determine the status and trends in loads and concentrations of contaminants, nutrients, and sediment in the Nation’s large rivers, including loads to selected major estuaries;
  • determine the status and trends in concentrations of contaminants, nutrients, and sediment for selected wadeable streams in selected land-use and environmental settings; and
  • determine trends in ecological condition in relation to trends in contaminants, nutrients, sediment, and streamflow alteration for selected wadeable streams in selected land-use and environmental settings. 

Learn more about the USGS NAWQA Project
Learn more about Nutrients in the Nation’s Streams and Groundwater
Learn more about Pesticides in the Nation’s Streams and Groundwater