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Water Quality Evaluation Section

North Central Region Office

Water Quality Evaluation Section


3500 Industrial Blvd.
West Sacramento, CA 95691
(916) 376-9600

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 942836
Sacramento, CA 94236-0001



NCRO Water Quality Evaluations Overview:

Water quality monitoring and investigations into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and the Truckee River Basin are performed by the Water Quality Evaluation Section out of DWR’s North Central Region Office. This section has been collecting time-series water quality data since 1998, when pilot stations were first installed in the south Delta.  After the initial pilot project proved a success, monitoring efforts in the Delta and Truckee River have grown and the data collected is increasingly valuable for answering research questions and influencing management decisions.   As of 2011, the section maintains a total of 38 time-series water quality stations encompassing five projects: Rock Slough Monitoring Program, South Delta Monitoring Program, Port of Stockton Monitoring Program, Central Delta Monitoring Program, and the Truckee River Monitoring Program.

Each monitoring project has specific objectives that identify water quality constituents that need monitoring. Continuous water quality parameters that are collected include: water temperature, specific conductance, pH, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, and chlorophyll a.  In addition, discrete water grab samples are obtained for analysis at DWR’s Bryte Laboratory.  The discrete constituents measured at many of the stations include: chlorophyll a, pheophytin a, chloride, bromide, and total suspended solids.  All the data collected by the section is subject to rigorous quality assurance and quality control checks before being made available on the DWR public website.  Validated time-series and discrete data from these stations is provided on Water Data Library (WDL). Nineteen stations are also telemetered real-time on California Data Exchange Center (CDEC).

The objectives of the Water Quality Evaluation Section include:

  • providing accurate and precise time-series and discrete water quality data to DWR programs and management, so more informed decisions about Project operations and Delta planning and construction projects can be made;
  • providing data to federal, state and local agencies, as well as the public;
  • providing data analyses in technical reports; and
  • presenting results of the section’s scientific analysis to DWR management.

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