National Water Quality Laboratory

Friday October 19, 2018

USGS Open-File Report 03-014

National Water Quality Laboratory Annual Report — Fiscal Years 2001 and 2002

Jon W. Raese


Fiscal years 2001 and 2002 were marked by important events for the National Water Quality Laboratory (NWQL). New accreditation, an improved Laboratory Information Management System, creation of a Joint Project Team, a citation as the "best overall safety program" in the Central Region, and the development of new analytical methods were pivotal as the NWQL responded aggressively to customer needs in the face of declining financial resources

The primary mission of the NWQL is to support U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) programs that require long-term, consistent, analytical chemistry and biological data of known quality for national assessment and trends analysis. Results of these studies provide natural-resource managers and policymakers with essential earth science information needed to make decisions about the use and conservation of the Nation's resources.

This mission was strengthened in the past 2 years as the NWQL worked to transform itself to respond quickly to customer needs. For example, the USGS Ocala Water Quality and Research Laboratory in Florida and the NWQL set up a Joint Project Team in 2001 to address improvements in overall customer service. A charter was set up to focus team responsibilities on enhancing customer access to field supplies provided by both laboratories.

During 2001 and 2002, the NWQL produced about 2.6 million individual data results for its customers. Most of this information is stored in the USGS National Water Information System (NWISWeb), where scientists can access and use the water-resources data from about 1.5 million sites in all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. These water-quality results represent the single most important contribution that the NWQL makes to the science of studying the Nation's water resources. The ability of the NWQL to provide high-quality analytical data — at exceptionally low detection levels for various chemical contaminants, including parent compounds and degradates, in sample matrices collected throughout the United States — is unmatched in government or industry.

In addition, the NWQL developed coopertive programs with other Federal agencies, installed new safety measures, and enhanced communication with its customers. Unfortunately, given the high cost of training new staff and the uncertainty of sample submission following budget cuts in various programs throughout the USGS, the NWQL left some personnel vacancies unfilled.

Fiscal years 2001 and 2002 are reviewed, respectively, on the following pages, along with plans for the coming months in 2003.

VIEW the report. (pdf)

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