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In order to protect and restore the quality of surface waters (fresh/marine/estuarine) and groundwater, its quality must first be meaningfully assessed. In the United States, this is a concern from the federal and state government level down to volunteer-based watershed protection nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Access to plentiful sources of high quality water is a necessity for a myriad of direct and indirect uses, ranging from drinking water supply and sanitation, production of fish and other water-based sources of food, aquatic life and habitat support, contact recreation such as swimming and boating, and various aesthetic uses including ecotourism. The National Research Councils' (NRC) Water Science and Technology Board (WSTB) has studied issues related to water quality in the natural environment and has published reports that generally fall into the categories of reviews of water quality agreements and monitoring programs, irrigation and water quality, and water pollution reduction.