Data Solicitation

data solicitation period

Each Integrated Report Cycle begins with a public Notice of Data Solicitation (Notice).  The Notice identifies the upcoming cycle, lists the Regional Water Boards that are “on-cycle,” describes the procedures and requirements for submitting data and information, and establishes a cut-off date by which all data should be submitted for consideration during the cycle.  Each Integrated Report will include information primarily from the “on-cycle” Regions but can include information from “off-cycle” Regions.  (Please visit the All Integrated Report Cycles page for more information about the Integrated Report Cycles.)

General instructions for submitting data for the Integrated Report are provided below.  Regardless of the Integrated Report cycle, data and information can be submitted at any time following the instructions below; and will be considered by the corresponding Region once they are “on-cycle.” 

Data Submittal Basics

What is the overall data and information submittal process?

The figure below illustrates the process for submitting data and information for the Integrated Report. Data that can be accepted by the California Environmental Data Exchange Network (CEDEN) must be submitted to CEDEN. Data that is not CEDEN compatible can be submitted via the Integrated Report Upload Portal.

In addition, all data submittals (both CEDEN compatible and non-CEDEN compatible) should be accompanied by a Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) or QAPP-equivalent document. Data and information not accompanied by a QAPP or a QAPP-equivalent document cannot be used by itself to support a 303(d) listing or delisting decision. QAPPs or equivalent documents are also submitted via the Integrated Report Upload Portal.

CEDEN Compatible

CEDEN compatible data sets include water chemistry, sediment chemistry, toxicity, tissue and bioassessment data, along with associated geospatial information (i.e., latitude, longitude, and datum). CEDEN compatible data must be submitted through CEDEN.

Details for submitting data to CEDEN are found here.

CEDEN data submissions are required to have a QAPP to be used as a primary line of evidence. QAPPs cannot be submitted through CEDEN. QAPPs must be submitted through the Integrated Report Upload Portal.

Details on QAPP requirements and submittal instructions are found here.

Non-CEDEN Compatible

If you are submitting a data type that is not CEDEN compatible, you must follow the instructions for submitting non-CEDEN compatible data. This includes continuous monitoring data, and narrative or photographic evidence.

Detailed instructions are found here.

All data submissions, including non-CEDEN data, require geospatial information.  Non-CEDEN data submissions require a QAPP or QAPP-equivalent document for the data to be used as a primary line of evidence, submitted via the Integrated Report Upload Portal.

QAPP requirements and submittal instructions, are found here.

When should data be submitted?

Data can be uploaded to CEDEN at any time and should be submitted as it is ready to ensure timely processing and to avoid backlogs in data uploading. However, data must be submitted by noon on October 16, 2020, to be evaluated for the 2024 California Integrated Report. Data submitted after noon on October 16, 2020, will be considered in future integrated reports.

Who can submit data?

Any person or entity (including but not limited to private citizens, public agencies, local, state, and federal governmental agencies, non-profit organizations, and businesses) possessing information regarding the quality of the state’s waters may submit data and information.

Which Regional Water Boards are administering the 2024 Listing Cycle?

The 2024 California Integrated Report listing cycle will be conducted for the Regional Water Quality Control Boards (“Regional Water Boards”) for the San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Santa Ana regions. The Central Valley Regional Water Board will be conducting “off-cycle” assessments for waters within the Sacramento River sub-area. The Sacramento River sub-area is defined as the Sacramento River watershed. It includes the mainstem of the Sacramento River above the legal boundary of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and all surface waters tributary to the mainstem. The other five Regional Water Boards would be considered “off cycle” for the 2024 Integrated Report but the listing process may be administered for one or more waters at the Regional Water Board’s or the State Water Board’s discretion. As a result, the State and Regional Water Boards encourage continuous submittal of data for any surface waterbody in California because any Regional Water Board may conduct listing or delisting assessments using data and information at its discretion.

How do we define information and data?

"Data” are considered a subset of information that consists of reports detailing measurements of specific environmental characteristics (i.e., measurements of physical, chemical, or biological characteristics in aquatic environments).

“Information” is any documentation, such as narrative or photographic evidence, describing the water quality condition of a surface water body.

Standards include beneficial uses of water and water quality objectives/criteria as listed in the Regional Water Quality Control Plans (which are also known as Basin Plans), statewide water quality control plans (e.g., the California Ocean Plan), the California Code of Regulations, and pertinent federal laws and regulations.

Data and information submitted may pertain to individual waterbody segments, entire waterbodies, or whole watersheds in California.

How do we define “readily available data and information”?

“Readily available data and information” is defined in Section 6.1.1 of the Water Quality Control Policy for Developing California’s Clean Water Act Section 303(d) List (Listing Policy). This includes data that are submitted to CEDEN. If CEDEN is unable to accept a subset of data and information, we will accept that data and information if submitted via the Integrated Report Upload Portal.

What kind of data should be submitted?

Any new data and information that contribute to a more complete understanding of the quality of the state’s surface waters should be submitted. This includes data that show water quality standards are being attained or not attained. Any data not captured in the previous data solicitation periods should be submitted. This includes data collected since the end of the last solicitation period (June 14, 2019) as well as data collected prior to that date but not submitted.

The California Integrated Report uses both quantitative and qualitative information. The bulk of the data used in the California Integrated Report is quantitative, or numeric. These data provide the basis for primary lines of evidence (“LOEs”). Qualitative information consists of non-numeric evidence such as photographs or narrative data. These are used as ancillary evidence in the development of LOEs. For greater detail on how different data types are used to develop the Section 303(d) list, see Section 3 of the Listing Policy.

What kind of data should not be submitted?

Please do not submit:

  • Data that was previously submitted as part of a past Integrated Report listing cycle
  • Data that has already been submitted into CEDEN
  • Data pertaining to groundwater

What if I have already submitted data to the National Water Quality Portal?

We recognize that federal, tribal, and other entities submit data directly to the National Water Quality Portal and it is not feasible to require that those datasets also be uploaded into CEDEN. Consequently, Water Board staff will pull data directly from the National Water Qualify Portal and attempt to translate that data into a CEDEN compatible format for use in the Integrated Report process. Datasets will only be used for the California Integrated Report if they conform to the minimum data elements and quality requirements as described in the Data Submittal Requirements.