Water Quality Assessment for Northern Rockies Intermontane Basins

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The Northern Rockies Intermontane Basins is one of 59 studies of the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program. The goals of the program are to (1) describe water-quality conditions for a large part of the nation's streams and aquifers, (2) describe water quality trends, and (3) identify factors affecting water quality. Stream water, bottom sediment, ground water, and fish tissue will be sampled; and stream ecology and habitat will be evaluated. Water quality will be related to ancillary factors.The study area extends along the Continental Divide from Butte, Montana, to the Canadian border, and westward to include the Spokane and Pend Oreille Rivers. Water quality issues in the study area include trace metals, nutrients, degradation of water from increased development, sedimentation, and their effects on aquatic biota. Data collection will be designed to address these issues and provide information for water managers. The assessment includes two years of planning, analysis of existing data, and sampling design; and three years for intensive data collection and interpretation. This will be followed by completion of reports and design and implementation of six years of low-intensity sampling. This cycle will be repeated to assess trends.Tornes, Lan H., 1997, National Water-Quality Assessment Program--Northern Rockies Intermontane Basins: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet FS 97-158, 4 p. Available Online