Beginning in 1986, the Congress annually has appropriated funds for the U.S. Geological Survey to test and refine concepts for a National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program. The long-term goals of a full-scale program would be to:
The results of the NAWQA Program will be made available to water managers, policy makers, and the public, and will provide an improved scientific basis for evaluating the effectiveness of water-quality management programs.
At present (1988), the assessment program is in a pilot phase in seven project areas throughout the country that represent diverse hydrologic environments and water-quality conditions. The Central Oklahoma aquifer project is one of three pilot ground-water projects. One of the initial activities performed by each pilot project was to compile, screen, and interpret the large amount of water-quality data available within each study unit.
The purpose of this report is to assess the water quality of the Central Oklahoma aquifer using the information available through 1987. The scope of the work includes compiling data from Federal, State, and local agencies; evaluating the suitability of the information for conducting a regional water-quality assessment; mapping regional variations in major-ion chemistry; calculating summary statistics of the available water-quality data; producing maps to show the location and number of samples that exceeded water-quality standards; and performing contingency-table analyses to determine the relation of geologic unit and depth to the occurrence of chemical constituents that exceed water-quality standards. This report provides an initial description of water-quality conditions in the Central Oklahoma aquifer study unit. No attempt was made in this report to determine the causes for regional variations in major-ion chemistry or to examine the reasons that some chemical constituents exceed water-quality standards.
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