In December, the U.S. National Research Council released the print version of Preparing for the Third Decade (Cycle 3) of the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program — a report calling for improved water quality monitoring nationwide. The report is a review of past NAWQA accomplishments and includes recommendations for the future, Cycle 3 (2013–2023). Bill Wilber, chief of the U.S. Geological Survey’s NAWQA program, has voiced support for these recommendations. The report calls for continued monitoring of chemical, biological, and physical water quality indicators, as well as modeling of future conditions, including the effects of climate change and land use. It also emphasizes cross-collaboration with other federal agencies, state and local governments, and the private sector. According to the report, “NAWQA’s unique niche is that it is a national program, taking on work that other entities cannot do alone because of, for example, jurisdictional boundaries or available resources.” Water quality data generated by NAWQA offer a vantage point to determine policy and program effectiveness and to strategize about future solutions. Read more.