National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Project

Our surface water, groundwater, and aquatic ecosystems are priceless resources, used by people across the Nation for drinking, irrigation, industry, and recreation. The National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Project is a leading source of scientific data and knowledge for development of science-based policies and management strategies to improve and protect our water resources.

In 1991, Congress established the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Project to address where, when, why, and how the Nation's water quality has changed, or is likely to change in the future, in response to human activities and natural factors. Since then, NAWQA has produced scientific data and knowledge that is used by national, regional, state, and local agencies to develop science-based policies and management strategies to improve and protect water resources used for drinking water, recreation, irrigation, energy development, and ecosystem needs. A prominent feature of NAWQA is the development of long-term consistent and comparable information on streams, rivers, ground water, and aquatic systems. The NAWQA Project is designed to answer these questions:

What is the current condition of our Nation's streams, rivers, and groundwater? How are these conditions changing over time? How do natural features and human activities affect these conditions, and where are those effects most pronounced?

Data and Resources


Field Value
Contact Name Mindi Dalton
Contact Email [email protected]
Geographic Location United States
Last Updated 08 December 2023
Published 06 December 2023