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California Council Works To Streamline Water Quality Data

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California Council Works To Make Water Quality Data Accessible to Consumers

As California faces the prospect of another year of drought, a group tasked to coordinate water quality monitoring across all state agencies and departments is working to streamline the process.

The California Water Quality Monitoring Council was established in 2007 and is part of the State Water Resources Department. The council has worked to create strategies for monitoring and assessing the state's water quality.

Jon Marshack, the council's executive director, said there are six interagency workgroups focused on various aspects of water quality from the health of wetlands to whether water is safe for swimming.

Marshack said blending the data from more than 20 state and federal agencies and other organizations takes time.

"Looking at source water, whether it be streams or groundwater, and then bringing those through all the processes that are involved and all the agencies that have a role to play in bringing that water to the person's tap," Marshack said.

He said the council is working to evaluate the water quality.

"We are tackling what is probably one of the most difficult water quality questions: 'how safe is our water to drink,'" said Marshack.

Marshack said sometime in 2015, Californians will be able to use a website to see the source and quality of their water.

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