manage these programs, the WRD headquarters leadership is organized into the following units:

  • Office of Surface Water,

  • Office of Groundwater,

  • Office of Water Quality,

  • Cooperative Water Program (Coop program),

  • Office of Water Information, and an

  • Office of the Chief Scientist that oversees research and development functions and groups such as the National Research Program (NRP).

Components of the various programs (Box 1-2) often cut across the offices, related to their focus and function. The Science Centers (located in every state) are the key operational units of the Coop program, and they also interact with all of the organizational units and participate in the field operations, and often the management and design of some or all of the programs noted in Box 1-2.

In this report the committee puts forward critiques, findings, and recommendations that will help the USGS WRD focus its programs to facilitate effective management of the nation’s water resources. The findings and recommendations presented in the report are primarily directed to the leadership of the Water Resources Discipline of the USGS. The WRD is integral to, but only a part of the USGS, a federal agency that resides within the Department of the Interior (DOI), a cabinet level department, headed by the Secretary of Interior. Hence, many of the findings and recommendations also address the USGS and the DOI, because support from this hierarchy of leadership will be necessary for the WRD to fulfill its role of providing needed water resources information. Other members of the audience for this report would be the examiners of the Office of Management and Budget. Clearly, many of the questions posed in the SOT are related to performance reviews conducted by OMB. Further, we hope these findings will be useful for others in the administrative branch of the federal government and congressional staff who provide support and direction to face the water problems that will constrain this nation if not resolved. Lastly, we hope that the federal, state, and local agencies that depend on the technical and scientific input of the WRD would review this report. Many of the concerns raised, as well as many recommendations, pertain to their needs or the need for them to address their collaborative work with the USGS to collectively meet the needs of this nation.

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