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October 2022

Putting Tribal & Community Science Data to Work in State Systems Using Collaboration and Open Data Strategies

John Dawes
In California, as in the rest of the country, FHABs are on the rise. In 2020, the California Water Board’s Freshwater and Estuarine Harmful Algal Bloom Program estimated that there were roughly 370 reports for FHABs in California. In 2021, that number doubled to roughly 600. As this year’s FHABs season comes to a close, we will likely see that number continue to rise. The key factors responsible for the rise are higher summer temperatures and more severe droughts brought on by climate change as well as increased nutrient levels due in part to run-off from farms and urban areas as well as discharges from wastewater treatment plants. In addition to implementing strategies to combat FHABs, the California State Water Resources Control Board (Water Board) has partnered with The Commons and the Nicholas Institute Water Policy Program to develop a robust FHAB monitoring and notification system to warn the public about and better track FHABs as they occur.
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