National Water Quality Assessment Program: Eastern Iowa Basins

Plan for water-quality assessment of the Eastern Iowa Basins

by Kalkhoff, S.J.

Program abstract of the 106th Session of the Iowa Academy of Science meeting, April 23, 1994, Davenport, Iowa

The Eastern Iowa Basins comprise the Wapsipinicon, Cedar, Iowa, and Skunk watersheds and cover about 19,000 square miles in eastern Iowa and southern Minnesota. This area is one of 20 study units that began in October 1993 as part of the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA) program. The purpose of the NAWQA program is to

  1. provide a nationally consistent description of current water-quality conditions for much of the Nations' water resources,
  2. define long-term trends in water quality, and
  3. identify, describe, and explain the major factors that affect observed water-quality conditions.

Planning and analyses of existing data in the study unit are the primary activities during the first two years. Intensive data collection and interpretation will occur during the third through the fifth years of the study. Water-quality data will be collected to address the issues of nonpoint source (nutrients, pesticides, and sediment) and point-source (industrial organic compounds) contamination of surface and ground water. During the sixth through ninth years of the study, low- intensity sampling will continue at a limited number of representative sites. Study-unit activities will be coordinated in part through a liaison committee consisting of representatives of Federal, State, and local agencies, universities, and others involved with water resources and water management issues.

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