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1516PERFORMANCE REPORT The Water Boards...

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The California Water Boards' Annual Performance Report - Fiscal Year  2015-16 





  Data Collected Between
Data Collected Between
Total Data Collected
Measure Data Under Review Data of Known Quality %Data Reviewed Data Under Review Data of Known Quality %Data Reviewed Data Under Review Data of Known Quality Total %Data Reviewed

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  Data Collected Between 1995 - 2016 by Measurement Type
Region Sampling Events Field Results Toxicity Tests Tissue Results Taxonomy Results Chemistry Results

Select a Regional Water Board, or State Board Data, to see data collected between 1995 - 2016 by measurement type for the selected State or Regional Water Board.



Monitoring and assessment of the State's surface waters provides data and information to determine the status and trends of their water quality condition. This data and information also allows the Water Boards to establish water quality standards, determine compliance with requirements, guide actions to protect these waters, and evaluate the effectiveness of pollution control efforts. The Water Boards' Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program (SWAMP) monitors and assesses the State’s surface waters, directly and through collaborative partnerships, such as with the California Department of Water Resources and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, to support water resource management. Data from SWAMP’s monitoring programs, such as the Bioassessment, Bioaccumulation, and Stream Pollution Trends programs, are used to answer priority water quality management questions, and to assess beneficial uses for the 305(b) and 303(d) Integrated Report.

Before releasing the data to the public and used in water quality assessment the data must be reviewed for quality control. The SWAMP data review process requires that all data results comply with standard field and lab electronic data requirements. The data are checked to ensure they conform to SWAMP templates and documentation prior to submission to the SWAMP Online Data Checker. These steps are important so that the data available to the public are of a known and documented quality. Unless data are rejected by the laboratory or project management, there are no mechanisms in SWAMP to reject data. A subset of SWAMP data does undergo a secondary level of validation, which include possibilities for rejection. Rejected results are not made available to the public.


  • Data Source: SWAMP Database. Period: January 1995 - August 2016. Extracted on September 16, 2016.
  • Unit of Measure: Number of sampling and analysis conducted events and data elements reviewed.
  • Data Definitions: Sample Count: Represents each unique sample event for an individual station, project and date. One or more results types may be associated with a single sample event. Site visits (including sampling events): A visit to a monitoring station on a given day to make observations, take measurements, and/or collect water samples for analysis (known as a sampling event). Analyses: Samples taken during a site visit may undergo chemical, physical, toxicological, or biological analyses in the field or laboratory. While analyses address a wide range of parameters, from $3 pH measurements to $6,000 toxicity identification evaluations, each analysis reported here is counted the same, regardless of cost or complexity.
  • References: The Water Boards' SWAMP Program
    SWAMP Partnerships
    2014 SWAMP Review
  • Regional Water Board fact sheets on regional monitoring strategies:
  • Access SWAMP data through CEDEN


Sampling Event
During a site visit, water samples or measurements can be collected from a specific water body site(s) to represent the water body as a whole. These samples are then analyzed for specific parameters, either in the lab or field.

Toxicity Test
The word “toxicity” is used here to indicate a statistically significant adverse impact on standard aquatic test organisms in laboratory exposures. A number of different species, including crustaceans, algae, fish, and mollusks, have been used, following widely accepted test protocols with strict quality assurance. Toxicity test organisms are surrogates for aquatic species found in the environment. Toxicity tests are especially useful in water quality monitoring because they can detect the effects of all chemicals (whether measured or not) and respond to pollutant mixtures. These results may or may not have any relationship to human health. The test organisms have been chosen because they are relatively sensitive to toxic chemicals. Toxicity detected by these organisms might not acutely impact other types of organisms. Endpoints are the measured effects on test species (e.g., fish, crustaceans, etc.). All endpoints measured lethality (as % survival), except for cell counts for the algal population growth endpoint.

Tissue Results
Tissue results represents a single chemical parameter analyzed in the laboratory for a tissue part collected from a single site that may be created from a single organism, body part such as liver, or composite of multiple fish.

Taxonomy Results
Taxonomy results represents counts of a particular taxa identified in the laboratory and collected from a single site on a specific day. These counts may include benthic macro invertebrates, soft algae or diatom taxa.

Field Results
Field Results represent an individual measurement collected in the field from a single site on a specific day.

Chemistry Results
Chemistry results represent a single chemical parameter analyzed in the laboratory for each individual sediment or water sample from a single site on a specific day.

Surface Water
Waters naturally open to the atmosphere such as rivers, lakes, reservoirs, ponds, estuaries, and ocean. These waters form from collected water on the ground, and are naturally replenished through precipitation and naturally lost through evaporation and sub-surface seepage into the groundwater.

Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program (SWAMP)
Water Board program responsible for coordinating all water quality monitoring conducted by the State and Regional Water Boards. In addition, SWAMP promotes collaboration with other entities by proposing conventions related to monitoring design, measurement indicators, data management, quality assurance, and assessment strategies, so that data from many programs can be used in integrated assessments.



( Page last updated:  12/21/16 )