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NAWQA DESIGN EVALUATION 40 2. Because the integration of ground water with surface water samples has been a relatively recent design modification, it is still unclear how samples will be allocated between ground and surface water. Surface water systems are visible and, hence, easier to delineate than ground water systems. Ground water flow is inherently threedimensional and more areally extensive than surface water flow, which dictates that sampling is more difficult and expensive than for surface water flow.
To the extent that higher levels of government provide continuity over time, these issues may require a national or regional approach. There are many examples of water quality issues requiring or benefiting from national or regional attention and decisionmaking for one or more of the reasons just discussed. These include evaluating past and guiding future investments in waste-water treatment works; determining the relative contribution of point and nonpoint sources to the loading of contaminants to surface and ground waters; identifying and controlling the water quality impacts of acid deposition, agricultural chemical use (especially pesticides), and toxics; evaluating the effectiveness of federal, state, regional, and local environmental regulations; and controlling eutrophication of inland and coastal water bodies.
Lakes and estuaries support rich and diverse ecosystems, which provide the basis of an extensive seafood industry and abundant recreational opportunities. Lakes also interact with other freshwater components of the hydrologic cycle, in that they act as both sources and sinks of various water quality constituents. Thus they can significantly affect downstream surface water or down-gradient ground water quality. It is clearly in the nation's interest to monitor, assess, and understand the water quality of both lakes and estuaries.
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