U.S. Geological Survey Manual
120.10 – Office of the Associate Director for Water
OPR: Office of Water
Instructions: This updates the April 23, 1993 issuance of this chapter. The original chapter number 120.7 has been changed to 120.10 to match the Departmental Manual Chapter 120 DM 10.
1. General Functions. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Office of the Associate Director for Water, provides executive leadership to ensure the quality and scientific integrity of USGS investigations of the occurrence, quantity, quality, distribution, uses, and movement of surface and ground waters. These investigations allow the USGS to develop and disseminate scientific knowledge and understanding of the Nation's water resources. Activities include data collection, resource assessment, research, and coordinating the activities of numerous other entities involved in water resources research, data acquisition, or information transfer. These activities are carried out through specific Federal programs or in cooperation with State and local governments or other Federal agencies.
2. Associate Director for Water. The Associate Director exercises the authority delegated by the USGS Director to provide leadership and nationwide guidance for the establishment of water resources programs and priorities and for the scientific efficacy of all Bureau activities in the hydrologic discipline. The Associate Director provides executive direction and oversight to ensure effective and efficient program planning, management, and execution of the Bureau’s nationwide water resources programs, including the development of methods and tools, research, and quality assurance. Responsibilities for these functions are shared with a Deputy Associate Director and the Chief Scientist for Water. The Associate Director and Deputy Associate Director are assisted in the development and implementation of the water programs by the following senior management team:
A. Groundwater and Streamflow Information Program Coordinator provides leadership and guidance for the Groundwater and Streamflow Information Program and for the scientific efficacy of all projects funded through this program. The Groundwater and Streamflow Information Program encompasses the Water Mission Area’s objectives to collect, manage, and disseminate hydrologic information in real time, over the long term, and in a consistent manner. This program includes activities such as the USGS streamgaging network, National Groundwater Monitoring Network, flood inundation mapping, and storm surge monitoring. It incorporates the groundwater and streamflow monitoring activities of the following previous programs: Cooperative Water Program, the National Streamflow Information Program, Groundwater Resources Program, and some smaller elements of the Hydrologic Networks and Analysis and Hydrologic Research and Development Programs. The program is also responsible for the support of information management functions that are vital to the dissemination of groundwater and streamflow observational data and for the support of research to enhance monitoring activities.
B. National Water Quality Program Coordinator provides leadership and guidance for the National Water Quality Program and for the scientific efficacy of all projects funded through this Program. The National Water Quality Program encompasses the Water Mission Area’s objectives through water-quality monitoring, assessment, and research activities. Specifically, the National Water Quality Program provides data, information, and understanding to: (1) assess the current quality of the Nation’s freshwater resources and how it is changing over time; (2) explain how human activities and natural factors, such as land use, water use, and climate change, are affecting the quality of surface water and groundwater; (3) determine the relative effects, mechanisms of activity, and management implications of multiple stressors in aquatic ecosystems; and (4) predict the effects of human activities, climate change, and management strategies on future water quality and ecosystem condition. This program includes the core water-quality monitoring, assessment, and research components of the former National Water Quality Assessment Program, National Stream Quality Accounting Network, Hydrologic Benchmark Network, National Monitoring Network for U.S. Coastal Waters and Tributaries, National Atmospheric Deposition Network, Urban Waters, Cooperative Water Program, Hydrologic Research and Development Program, and Hydrologic Networks and Analysis Program. This program is also responsible for the support of information management functions that are vital to the dissemination of water-quality information.
C. Water Availability and Use Science Program Coordinator provides leadership and guidance for the Water Availability and Use Science Program and for the scientific efficacy of all projects funded through this program. The Water Availability and Use Science Program encompasses the Water Mission Area’s objectives to provide comprehensive water availability and use science to the Nation. This program also fulfills the goal stated in the SECURE Water Act (P.L. 111-11), Section 9508, to establish a “national water availability and use assessment program.” The Water Availability and Use Science Program synthesizes and reports information at the regional and national scales, with an emphasis on compiling and reporting the information in a way that is useful to states and others responsible for water management and natural resource issues. This program includes the USGS National Water Use Information activities, most of the Water Mission Area components of the WaterSMART Initiative, the Water Energy Food Nexus work, Environmental flows, the regional groundwater availability evaluations, drought science activities, and all water availability scientific analyses and research conducted in the Water Mission Area through the former Hydrologic Research and Development and Cooperative Water Programs. This program is also responsible for the support of information management functions that are vital to the dissemination of water availability and use scientific information.
D. Water Resources Research Act (WRRA) Program Coordinator provides leadership and guidance for the WRRA Program and for the scientific efficacy of all projects funded through this Program. The WRRA Programprovides an institutional mechanism for promoting State, regional, and national coordination of water resources research, training and information and technology transfer. With its matching requirements, the program is also a key mechanism for promoting State investments in research and training.
E. Office of the Chief Scientist for Water plans and develops national basic and applied research programs related to the hydrologic environment. Through these programs, long-term studies are conducted that integrate hydrologic, geologic, chemical, biologic, and climate information to answer questions related to water resource use and management and environmental change. The National Research Program Office develops policy, identifies priorities, oversees the execution of research programs, and evaluates the results of research efforts conducted in-house by the staff of the National Research Program and by universities under the mandates of the Water Resources Research Act of 1984.
F. Office of Groundwater provides leadership in the development of techniques for the collection, analysis, and interpretation of groundwater data as well as policy and technical guidance to field employees on matters pertaining to the Nation's groundwater resources. The staff exercises bureauwide responsibility for developing guidance and standards for the national groundwater data collection program; maintains a system of quality assurance and quality control to assure the technical excellence of field programs with respect to groundwater and manages the Branch of Geophysics.
G. Office of Surface Water provides leadership in the development of techniques for the collection, analysis, and interpretation of surface water data as well as policy and technical guidance to field employees on matters pertaining to the Nation's surface water resources. The staff exercises bureauwide responsibility for developing guidance and standards for the national surface-water data collection program; manages the Hydrologic Instrumentation Facility at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi; manages the Federal Interagency Sedimentation Project in Vicksburg, Mississippi; and maintains a system of quality assurance and quality control to assure the technical excellence of field programs with respect to surface water. In addition, the Chief of the Office of Surface Water acts as the Delaware River Master according to the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decree.
H. Office of Water Information ensures the timely and accurate dissemination of water information. The staff is responsible for satellite data relay activities; the Federal water information coordination program; the public hydrologic software program; the design, installation, maintenance, operation, and continuing evaluation of a National Water Information System for the storage and manipulation of water data in a distributed environment, including NWISWeb; collaborates with other Federal agencies and their representatives to improve dissemination of USGS water data for emergency management, recreation, engineering design, and scientific analysis.
I. Office of Water Quality provides leadership in the development of techniques for the collection, analysis, and interpretation of water-quality data as well as policy and technical guidance to field employees on matters pertaining to the quality of the Nation's water resources. The staff exercises bureauwide responsibility for developing guidance and standards for the National Water Quality Data Collection Program; manages the National Water Quality Laboratory in Lakewood, Colorado; maintains a system of quality assurance and quality control to assure the technical excellence of field and laboratory programs with respect to quality of water; and manages the Branch of Quality Systems.
J. Water Science Field Team, composed of surface water, groundwater, and water quality specialists, provide technical guidance to USGS science centers to assure the quality of groundwater, surface water, and quality of water projects, investigations and data-collection activities. The specialists provide technical guidance in the development, preparation, and review of project proposals and work plans; planning of field data-collection activities; and review of investigative and data projects. The specialists also respond to technical inquiries, disseminate technical information to the science centers, and act as the principle liaison between the Water Mission Area, Regional USGS offices, and USGS science centers.
/s/ Suzette M. Kimball August 25, 2015
Suzette M. Kimball Date
Acting Director, U.S. Geological Survey
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