The Water and Agriculture Information Center (WQIC) was established in 1990 to support the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) plan to address water quality concerns. As the focal point of the National Agricultural Librarys water quality efforts, the center collects, organizes, and communicates the scientific findings, educational methodologies, and public policy issues related to water resources and agriculture.
To contribute to the National Agricultural Library's vision of advancing access to global information for agriculture in the area of water and related natural resources.
The center primarily serves water resources professionals-including scientists, policy makers, economists, engineers and many others-who are working on ways to curb water quality problems associated with agriculture. Members of the public with an interest in water issues are also served by the center. The center's World Wide Web site allows the center to efficiently share information with a large number of people.
A less visible function of the center, but over the long term a very important one, is to improve NAL's coverage of water issues: the center identifies and recommends additions to NAL's collection, forwards items to the library's gift and exchange program, and works to strengthen water quality coverage in the NAL catalog (AGRICOLA), NAL's database of the agricultural literature.
To leverage resources, the center frequently collaborates with individuals and organizations with similar interests. For example, the center is an active participant in the USDA Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP).