National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program

NAWQA image
[Image: U.S. Geological Survey]

About the NAWQA Data Warehouse:
The USGS began its NAWQA program in 1991, systematically collecting chemical, biological, and physical water quality data from 42 study units (basins) across the nation. The Data Warehouse contains and links the following data:

  • Chemical concentrations in water, bed sediment, and aquatic organism tissues for about 2000 chemical constituents
  • Biological community data for 16,000 fish, algae and invertebrate samples
  • Site, basin, well and network characteristics with many descriptive variables
  • Daily stream flow information for fixed sampling sites
  • Ground water levels for sampled wells
  • 7,600 surface water sites and 8,100 wells
  • 49,000 nutrient samples and 31,000 pesticide samples as well as 9,000 VOC samples
  • 2,500 samples of bed sediment and aquatic organism tissues


Regional Water Resources

Water and drought play important roles in the diverse ecosystems of the Mountain Prairie region. All biological organisms require water in order to function, and many of the region's animals and plants are well-adapted to the daily, seasonal, and annual cycles of this essential resource. Water serves critical roles in agriculture, industry, recreation, transportation, and maintenance of our environment, as well as our very quality of life.

Drought is a period of unusually persistant dry weather that lasts long enough to cause serious problems such as crop damage and/or water supply shortages. The severity of the drought depends upon the degree of moisture deficiency, the duration, and the size of the affected area (source: National Weather Service). A drought can be defined by the amount of precipitation in an area, by the amount of moisture in the soil, by surface and subsurface water supplies, or by water shortages affecting people.

Follow the links below and throughout the page to explore water and drought resources for the Mountain Prairie region of the United States.

State and Federal Water Agencies
Showing 13 Results
CollapseKansas State Conservation Commission
Description: The State Conservation Commission (SCC), works with related local, state, and federal entities to administer programs to improve water quality, reduce soil erosion, conserve water, reduce flood potential, and provide local water supply. The SCC has the responsibility to administer the Conservation Districts Law, the Watershed District Act and other statutes authorizing various programs. The agency budget is financed from the dedicated funding of the Kansas State Water Plan Special Revenue Fund, State General Fund, and fee funds.
Resource Type: State Government Agencies (U.S.)
Resource Format: URL
Publisher: State of Kansas
ExpandMississippi Embayment National Water-Quality Assessment Program
ExpandMontana Department of Natural Resources: Water Resources Division
ExpandNational Water Quality Assessment Program (NAWQA) Ozark Plateaus Study Unit
ExpandNebraska Department of Natural Resources: Ground Water
ExpandNebraska Department of Natural Resources: Surface Water
ExpandNorth Dakota State Water Commission
ExpandSouth Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources: Ground Water Quality Program
ExpandSouth Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources: Water Rights Program
ExpandSouth Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks
ExpandSouth Dakota Governor's Drought Task Force
ExpandUnited States Army Corps of Engineers-Nashville District.
ExpandWyoming Water Development Commission
Snow and Avalanche Resources
Showing 4 Results
Description: is the Westwide Avalanche Network, a repository of information designed for avalanche professionals to use to predict and control avalanches. The site includes avalanche data, mountain weather, avalanche activity, accidents, education, and links to avalanche centers, equipment manufacturers, and ski areas. Information is presented at three security levels. Advisories, weather, and non-sensitive data are available to the public. Advanced data is for professional members of the American or Canadian avalanche organizations. The third group contains information for avalanche forecasters regarding explosives, avalaunchers, and accidents.
Resource Type: Databases and Information Systems, Issue Overviews
Resource Format: URL
Publisher: Westwide Avalanche Network
ExpandForest Service National Avalanche Center
ExpandGallatin National Forest Avalanche Center
ExpandNorthwest Weather and Avalanche Center

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Surf Your Watershed

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's "Surf Your Watershed" program integrates environmental information available by geographic units including state, watershed, county, metro area, and tribe.

The site provides access to three main databases:
1. Adopt Your Watershed, a database of watershed groups,
2. Wetlands Restoration Projects, which displays ongoing wetlands restoration,
3. Environmental Websites Database, a directory of websites dedicated to environmental issues and information.

Map of United States

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Additional Resources

Water Cycle Diagram [Image: US Global Climate Change Research Program]
Water Cycle Diagram
[Image: US Global Climate Change Research Program]

The following pages contain information on surface water, ground water, water quality, drought, and snowpack in the Pacific Northwest.

USGS Water Science by State:

NIDIS and NOAA Drought Information:

NRCS SNOTEL (SNOwpack TELemetry) Data by State:

The NBII Program is administered by the Biological Informatics Program of the U.S. Geological Survey
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