National Water-Quality Assessment Program-the Georgia-Florida Coastal Plain
by I.H. Kantrowitz
In 1991, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) began to implement a full-scale National Water-Quality Assessmnet (NAWQA) program. The overall goals of the NAWQA program are to describe the status and trends in the quality of a large, representative part of the Nation's surface- and ground-water resources and to provide a sound, scientific understanding of the natural and human factors affecting the quality of these resources. In meeting these goals, the program will produce water-quality information that will be useful to policy makers and managers at the national, state, and local levels.
The NAWQA program is designed so that water-quality information at different areal scales can be integrated. A major component of the program is the study unit, which comprises the principal building blocks of the program on which national-level assessment activities are based. The 60 study units that make up the program are hydrologic systems that include parts of most major river basins and aquifer systems. These study units cover areas of 1,200 to more than 65,000 square miles and incorporate about 60 to 70 percent of the Nation's water use and population served by public water supply. In 1991, the Georgia-Florida Coastal Plain was among the first 20 NAWQA study units selected for study under the full-scale implementation plan.
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