The project will provide guidance to the U.S Geological Survey on the design and scope of the NAWQA program as it enters its third decade of water quality assessments. T he committee will assess accomplishments of the NAWQA program since its inception in 1991 by engaging in discussions with the Cycle 3 Planning Team, program scientists and managers, and external stakeholders and users of NAWQA data and scientific information. The committee will also review USGS internal reports on NAWQA’s current design for monitoring, assessments, research, and relevance to key water topics. The main activities of the study committee will be to:

1. Provide guidance on the nature and priorities of current and future water quality issues that will confront the Nation over the next 10-15 years and address the following questions:

• Which issues are currently being addressed by NAWQA and how might the present design and associated assessments for addressing these issues be improved?

• Are there issues not currently being substantially addressed by NAWQA that should be considered for addition to the scope of NAWQA?

2. Provide advice on how NAWQA should approach these issues in Cycle 3 with respect to the following questions:

• What components of the Program—Surface Water Status and Trends; Ground-Water Status and Trends; Topical Understanding Studies; National Synthesis— should be retained or enhanced to better address national water quality issues?

• What components of the program should change to improve how priority issues are addressed?

• Are there new Program components that should be added to NAWQA to enable the Program to better address and analyze National water quality issues and related public policy issues?

3. Identify and assess opportunities for the NAWQA Program to better collaborate with other Federal, State, and local government, non-governmental organizations, private industry, and academic stakeholders to assess the nation’s current and emerging water quality issues.

4. Review strategic science and implementation plans for Cycle 3 for technical soundness and ability to meet stated objectives.

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