US Geological Survey


Date of this Version



Published by U.S. Department of the Interior/ U.S. Geological Survey.

December 2003


In 2001, the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program began an intensive study of nutrient enrichment—elevated concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus— in streams in five agricultural basins across the Nation (see map, p. 2). This study is providing nationally consistent and comparable data and analyses of nutrient conditions, including how these conditions vary as a result of natural and human-related factors, and how nutrient conditions affect algae and other biological communities. This information will benefit stakeholders, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and its partners, who are developing nutrient criteria to protect the aquatic health of streams in different geographic regions.