||This document identifies goals and outlines strategic directions; it is not a detailed implementation plan. Ideas in this document will be implemented over time with the insight and guidance of our employees, our colleagues, and our customers and partners. This document describes the mission and the future directions of the Water Resources Division of the U.S. Geological Survey.The initial draft of the document was prepared by a planning team that consisted of 22 senior managers and scientists from WRD. A large number of stakeholders improved the document through an extensive review process. We received comments from within WRD, and from other divisions of USGS, Department of the Interior management and bureaus, other Federal agencies, State and local agencies, the academic community, and the private sector. The document was revised to respond to the concerns and support of these stakeholders. The primary audience for the document is internal, as it will help guide decisions at all levels of our organization. However, our stakeholders have indicated that they will find it helpful as they work with us to address issues of mutual concern. This document presents three major premises. First, we will maintain and strengthen those characteristics of scientific excellence, strong partnerships, and program balance that have been key to past successes and will be key to future success. Second, we will make adjustments in skill mix, program emphasis, and approaches to staffing that will improve our current and future position as a leader in hydrologic data collection, investigations, and research. Finally, we will maintain the flexibility that will allow us to anticipate and respond appropriately to unforeseen events. This document combined with other policy documents, is a compass that can be used by division decisionmakers to steer the organization in a positive direction. The planning horizon for this document is 1998-2008. Within that timeframe, we identify some specific actions that will be accomplished in the near term. For example, we identify some high-priority activities that we will undertake within the next 5 years to improve our current capabilities. We anticipate that some changes and mid-course corrections may be necessary during the next several years as unforeseen events occur. Because most of the decisions that affect our stakeholders and human and financial resource allocations are made in WRD district offices, research branches, and other major field offices, it is important that all of these decisionmakers share a common understanding of who we are, what we stand for, and what our goals are for the future. Only then can WRD move in the directions outlined here and respond appropriately to signals in the external and internal environments that might require a shift in course. We identify target percentages for various activities. These percentages were arrived at through a consensus process using the planning team's collective expertise and records of WRD's mix of activities during the last 15 years. The target percentages apply to WRD as a whole, not to individual organizational units. They are not rigid requirements that will drive all decisions. Instead, they are guidelines that will help us track our progress towards an improved and better-balanced future. "Strategic Directions for the Water Resources Division, 1998--2008" begins with a statement of the mission, activities, and success factors of the WRD in 1998 and then proceeds to consider changes in the global environment and in water-resources management that are likely during the next decade. Given a changing world, the section "Strategic Directions in Scientific Activities" of this document outlines water-resource issues that need increased emphasis, planned evolution of ongoing programs, and some short-term investments that are necessary to enhance current capabilities. One theme that runs throughout the document is the requirement for us to listen to the needs of our stakeholders, which include the technical community who manage the Nation's water resources and Federal, State, and local regulatory agencies and land managers. We must design and conduct the best and most relevant science to meet the needs of these stakeholders. We must make the results of our scientific efforts available to them in a timely manner and a form that is most useful to them.