Presentation on theme: "Anitra Pawley and Tina Swanson The Bay Institute"— Presentation transcript:
1 Anitra Pawley and Tina Swanson The Bay Institute The San Francisco Bay Water Quality Index: A tool for communicating progress in reaching environmental goalsAnitra Pawley and Tina Swanson The Bay Institute
2 San Francisco BayImportant, receives 40% of state’s runoff, fish passage, home to over 6.7 million residentsLong history of anthropogenic disturbance – urban and agricultural developmentLarge and complex system, difficult to assess water qualityInvestments on water quality remediationPublic and decision-makers want to know: “How clean is the water”?We need simple answers that synthesize complex monitoring information. This is not easy…
3 Reporting Environmental Progress Many large-scale estuarine restoration programs have public level “indicator” reports and/or websites which are based on trends:Chesapeake Bay ProgramGeorgia Basin Puget Sound Indicators reportSome programs actually grade condition or progress:Chesapeake Bay FoundationAustralia’s Moreton Bay Report CardEPA’s Index of Watershed Indicators (IWI)EPA National Coastal Condition Report
4 Chesapeake Bay Foundation The State of the Bay Report Source:
6 The San Francisco Bay Water Quality Index – one of eight indexes of the Bay Index (Ecological Scorecard
7 (water use, pollution reduction, monitoring) MANAGEMENTStewardship(water use, pollution reduction, monitoring)PEOPLE(Human Uses)ENVIRONMENTWater Quality*Fishable-Swimmable-DrinkableHabitatextentFlowFISH and WILDLIFEScorecard Conceptual FrameworkFood WebFish* being developed or refined this yearShellfishBirds*
8 Scorecard Water Quality Index developed for San Francisco Bay four sub-regions:Suisun BaySan Pablo BayCentral BaySouth Bay
9 Water Quality Index Criteria Summarize the scope, magnitude, and frequency of the water quality problemSummarize the results for key classes of compounds that impair ecosystem healthCompare water quality using existing standardsFacilitate comparison with studies in different regionsScore water quality on a scale with 100 being the best and 0 the worst condition consistent with the grading system used for other Scorecard indexes
10 CCME Water Quality Index 1.0 Method Calculation of each indicator incorporated three different measurements (metrics):1. number of variables whose objectives are not met (Scope)2. frequency with which the objectives are not met (Frequency)3. amount by which the objectives are not met (Amplitude)The Scoring scale (0-100) was consistent with the Scorecard approach.Index calculator availableMethod developed by the British Columbia Ministry of the Environment, Lands and Parks and adopted by the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment.
12 Calculation of Indicators This figure illustrates how each contaminant category indicator is calculated from three metrics and converted to a score using a 100 point scale.
13 Pesticide Indicator Key Findings: Received a B in 2001; Overall trend is “stable”Standards for most pesticides were met in most water samplesConcentrations of diazinon, dieldrin, heptachlor epoxide, or DDT compounds exceeded standards in all yearsContamination more severe in South, San Pablo Bays, and Suisun BayConcentrations of most of the problem pesticides have not declined
14 Trace Elements Indicator 1993199519971999200120406080100ABCDFGradeTrace Elements19941996199820002002123456South BayCentral BaySan Pablo BaySuisun Bayfresh and salt water: 3.1 ug/L0.010.1100.00010.001fresh water: ug/Lsalt water: ug/Lno datafresh water: 5 ug/LMercury(µg/L)SeleniumCopperScoreKey Findings:Received a C in 2001; overall trend is decliningStandards exceeded exclusively in the South and San Pablo BaysFour trace elements standards were consistently exceeded: mercury, copper, selenium, and nickelFrom , an average of 10% (range: 2-18%) of all water samples exceeded the standard for one or more trace elements
15 PCB Indicator Key Findings: PCBs Score Grade A B C D F 1993199519971999200120406080100ABCDFGradePCBs19941996199820002002100010000South BayCentral BaySan Pablo BaySuisun Baywater qualitystandard(31 ng/L)PCBs (ng/L)ScoreKey Findings:Received an F in 2001; overall trend is not decliningConcentrations in San Francisco Bay exceeded standards every year, in every part of the Bay at nearly every sampling stationThe problem is particularly severe in the South Bay
16 PAH Indicator PAHs Score Grade A B C D F 1993199519971999200120406080100ABCDFGradePAHsScore199419961998200020021101001000South BayCentral BaySan Pablo BaySuisun BayTotal PAHs (ng/L)TKey Findings:Received a B in 2001; overall trend neither increased nor decreased during the past decadeConcentrations exceeded standards in four of nine years during the RMP surveyTotal PAH concentrations were highest in South Bay, intermediate in San Pablo Bay, and lowest in Central and Suisun Bays
17 Dissolved Oxygen Indicator 199419961998200020022468101214South BayCentral BaySan Pablo BaySuisun Baywater qualitystandard(31 ng/L)Dissolved Oxygen (mg/L)1993199519971999200120406080100ABCDFGradeDissolved OxygenScoreKey Findings:Received a B in 2001; trend varied but neither increased or decreasedConcentrations were above the minimum standard in all areas of the Bay except the South Bay where they fall below the standards in nearly all yearsHistoric USGS data indicate improvement in conditions in the South Bay during the past thirty years (graph not shown)
18 The Bay Water Quality Index 2001 score was 55 and grade was C. It has fluctuated from B-C indicating good to fair conditions but the trend is relatively stable.Open waters are cleaner, but standards are not met in parts of the Bay. Toxic sediments and storm runoff are a major problem.Localized historic data indicate that for some constituents, conditions have improved, hence the upward arrow for the long-term trend.
19 Features of the Water Quality Index Science based – extensive literature review, expert panel and peer reviewMulti-metric indexes allow aggregation – more concise messageMultiple indicators facilitate comprehensive evaluation, a look at pollutants by categoryResults of indicator are used to “grade” the overall health and condition of the BayMultiple layers of information to reach several audiences public, managers and decision-makers, and scientistsMethod well established in Canada, facilitates regional comparisons
20 “Big Picture” Water Quality Conclusions Overall trends show no improvement in the last decade, but have improved since earlier water quality recordsMany contaminants exceed those considered potential health threats to wildlife and humansAreas most impacted generally South Bay and San Pablo BayPersistent and widespread distribution of pollutants whose uses have been banned or phased out (i.e., PCBs)Index measures concentrations of contaminants in open waters, not in sediments or stormwater runoff
21 Future DirectionsBay Region - update and refine index, additional datasetsIndicators Consortium (SFEP, SFEI, CEMAR, TBI and others)Investigate feasibility to move the effort upstream – Delta and major tributariesDevelop a long range plan for indicator development and updatesBuild partnerships for funding and indicator developmentTie indicators to regulatory framework and policy including national level indicator effortsUse the indicators as outreach tools to restore the bayPublish results to gain broader national peer review
22 My colleagues at The Bay Institute Acknowledgements:Expert PanelJim Karr, University of WashingtonBruce Herbold, US Environmental Protection AgencyPeter Moyle, University of California, DavisFred Nichols, US Geological Survey (ret.)Matt Kondolf, University of California, BerkeleyPhil Williams, Phil Williams and AssociatesMy colleagues at The Bay InstituteGary Bobker, Policy AnalystTina Swanson, Ph.D.Peter Vorster, M.S.Max Stevenson, Research AssistantAmy Kyle, Ph.D. Switzer FellowOutreach: George Snyder, Angela Moskow, Ann Dickinson, Laurette Rogers
23 The 2003 San Francisco Bay Index was made possible by: Compton Foundation, Inc.The Mary A. Crocker TrustThe Fred Gellert Family Foundation;The Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund;The William and Flora Hewlett FoundationThe Pacific Estuarine Ecological Indicators Research Program (PEEIR)The Marin Community FoundationThe Rose Foundation for Communities and the EnvironmentThe San Francisco Foundation (Switzer Environmental Leadership Program)The San Francisco Estuary ProjectThe U.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceThe Weeden FoundationThe Dean Witter FoundationIndividual supporters of the Bay Institute