Water Quality

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Individual in rain boots and a hat is working with a device in the water at the edge of a marsh.

Water quality is one of the most important components of a healthy ecosystem. Clean water provides a drinking supply for communities, supports a diversity of plants and wildlife, and enhances recreation and tourism. Understanding the types of data, and actions that can address areas of concern, helps communities better understand the condition of their water and the threats.

Explore the Data

  • Data

    National Water Quality Portal

    Access publicly available water-quality monitoring data from the U.S. Geological Survey, Environmental Protection Agency, and U.S. Department of Agriculture, and a wide variety of site and sampling parameters.

  • Data

    Water Quality Parameters

    Access near real-time and historical monitoring observations, including several water quality parameters and model outputs collected from the 11 regional associations that are part of the Integrated Ocean Observing System framework.

  • Data

    Research Reserve Monitoring Data

    Access site-based monitoring data from NOAA’s National Estuarine Research Reserve System, including nutrients, temperature, salinity, pH, dissolved oxygen, and more.

Assess Conditions

  • Tool

    Estuary Data Mapper

    Search, view, and download geospatial data, such as water and sediment quality, freshwater discharge, and tides from this free, stand-alone desktop tool.

  • Tool

    How’s My Waterway?

    Provides the public with information about the condition of their local waters based on data that state, federal, tribal, and local agencies, and others, provide to the Environmental Protection Agency.

  • Tool

    Beach Advisory and Closing Notification (BEACON) 2.0

    Provides the public with a database of pollution occurrences and closures for coastal recreational waters.

  • Tool


    This GIS-based screening tool helps assess changes in water quality resulting from different land use management and climate scenarios.

  • Tool

    Impervious Surface Analysis Tool

    Calculate impervious surface area within watersheds, municipalities, and subdivisions and predict how management scenarios could impact local water quality.

  • Tool


    Provides resources related to ecosystem services and human health, including benefits of clean water and reduced pollutants.

Identify Solutions

  • Tool

    Rain Garden App

    Helps users properly install a rain garden at their home, office, or jobsite, which can allow pollutants to infiltrate the ground and be filtered instead of entering waterbodies and impacting water quality.

  • Training – Publication

    Stormwater Management in Pacific and Caribbean Islands

    Helps designers, agencies, and others apply low impact development practices to manage stormwater runoff and protect coral reef ecosystems from land-based sources of pollution (in the Pacific and Caribbean).

  • Training – Video

    Estuaries: Nature’s Water Filters

    Learn how estuaries remove toxins, sediment, and nutrients as water flows from land to sea and what practices are beneficial to improving water quality.

  • Training – Quick Reference

    Nature-Based Solutions: Benefits, Costs, and Economic Assessments

    Learn how green infrastructure practices provide a wide range of benefits—including improving water quality—and gain information about installation and maintenance costs and tips for assessing the costs and benefits.

Related Topics

You may be interested in resources found on these topics pages.