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1516PERFORMANCE REPORT The Water Boards...

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The California Water Boards' Annual Performance Report - 2011


MESSAGE:  The percentage of data not reviewed collected between 2010-2011 remains high.



  Data collected Between 1995-2009 Data collected Between 2010-2011
Region Data Under Review Data of Known Quality %Data Reviewed Data Under Review Data of Known Quality %Data Reviewed


Click on a Region in the Map below, to see data for that Region.


The data show that 89% of the toxicity analyses collected between 1995 and 2009 have been reviewed and the data is now available to be used in water quality assessments. This percentage is much lower for the samples collected during the last two years for which only 12% of the results have been reviewed.


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 Game, to support water resource management. Data from SWAMP is used for many purposes, including the State's water quality assessment report, "Clean Water Act Section 305(b) Report on Water Quality", and the impaired water bodies list, "Clean Water Act Section 303(d) List". 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 all results for the project to be reported in accordance to the Work Order, the data are checked to ensure they conform to SWAMP Business Rules and Standard Operating Procedures for Data Verification. 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



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.

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:  4/20/12 )