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Gretchen P. Oelsner

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In 1991, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) began a study of more than 50 major river basins across the Nation as part of the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) project of the National Water-Quality Program. One of the major goals of the NAWQA project is to determine how water-quality conditions change over time. To support that goal, long-term consistent and comparable monitoring has been conducted on streams and rivers throughout the Nation. Outside of the NAWQA project, the USGS and other Federal, State, and local agencies also have collected long-term water-quality data to support their own assessments of changing water-quality conditions. Data from these multiple sources have been combined to support...
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Domestic oil and gas production and clean water are critical for economic growth, public health, and national security of the United States. As domestic oil and gas production increases in new areas and old fields are enhanced, there is increasing public concern about the effects of energy production on surface-water and groundwater quality. To a great extent, this concern arises from the improved hydraulic fracturing techniques being used today, including horizontal drilling, for producing unconventional oil and gas in low-permeability formations. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) John Wesley Powell Center for Analysis and Synthesis is hosting an interdisciplinary working group of USGS scientists to conduct a temporal...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Fact Sheet
Since passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972, Federal, State, and local governments have invested billions of dollars to reduce pollution entering rivers and streams. To understand the return on these investments and to effectively manage and protect the Nation’s water resources in the future, we need to know how and why water quality has been changing over time. As part of the National Water-Quality Assessment Project, of the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Water-Quality Program, data from the U.S. Geological Survey, along with multiple other Federal, State, Tribal, regional, and local agencies, have been used to support the most comprehensive assessment conducted to date of surface-water-quality trends in the...
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The City of Albuquerque, the major population center in New Mexico, underwent a more than fivefold population increase between 1950 and 2010. Before 2009, groundwater was the primary source of the City of Albuquerque’s municipal water supply, but since that time, the city has diverted water through the San Juan-Chama Drinking Water Project to augment municipal water supplies. Consequently, there is interest in understanding how groundwater levels changed in response to groundwater pumping, surface-water diversions, and conservation measures. To give a more detailed history of water-level changes from 1950 through 2012, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility...
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Combining water-quality data from multiple sources can help counterbalance diminishing resources for stream monitoring in the United States and lead to important regional and national insights that would not otherwise be possible. Individual monitoring organizations understand their own data very well, but issues can arise when their data are combined with data from other organizations that have used different methods for reporting the same common metadata elements. Such use of multi-source data is termed “secondary use”—the use of data beyond the original intent determined by the organization that collected the data. In this study, we surveyed more than 25 million nutrient records collected by 488 organizations...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Water Research
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