Beach Report Card with NowCast – Summer 2022 Update: Daily Beach Water Quality Predictions
FOR THE EIGHTH STRAIGHT SUMMER, Heal the Bay is posting daily water quality predictions for California Beaches on our Beach Report Card with NowCast. To make daily predictions, we use computer models to examine correlations between historical bacteria concentrations and environmental conditions (such as temperature, rain and tide). Our NowCast models then predict with a high accuracy how much bacteria could be present in the water given the current local conditions at the beach.
A day at the beach should not make anyone sick. That is why health officials across the state monitor water quality at the beach every week during the summer. And when officials detect high levels of bacteria, they issue a public health advisory. By the time traditional water quality samples are processed, a minimum of 18-24 hours have passed and the information is already outdated – and with samples taken only every 7 days, a weekly water quality grade may not provide the most useful or updated information as water quality can fluctuate rapidly. Heal the Bay advocates for daily water quality information in order to better protect public health – our NowCast program provides exactly that, issuing daily water quality information for 25 beaches.
NowCast predictions appear on the Beach Report Card website and app with the symbols seen below. A Blue “W+” symbol indicates that there is a low risk of illness when coming in contact with the water, and a Red “W-” symbol indicates that there is a high risk of illness when coming in contact with the water.
Head to beachreportcard.org to find daily predictions for 25 beaches across California. Or download our free app on your iOS or Android device to get daily predictions on-the-go.
Just in time for Memorial Day weekend and the unofficial start of summer 2022, we are excited to announce the 25 beaches in our NowCast program, with three new beaches added to the program in 2022:
- Dockweiler Beach (Toes), Los Angeles County
- Long Beach (5th Place), Los Angeles County
- Manhattan Beach (28th St.), Los Angeles County
- Paradise Cove Creek Mouth, Los Angeles County *NEW
- Redondo Beach Pier, Los Angeles County
- Santa Monica Beach (Pico Kenter Storm Drain), Los Angeles County
- Torrance Beach (Avenue I), Los Angeles County
- Venice Beach Pier, Los Angeles County
- Will Rogers (Santa Monica Canyon), Los Angeles County
- Aliso Creek Outlet, Orange County
- Doheny State Beach, Orange County
- Newport Beach (38th St.), Orange County
- Newport Beach (52nd St.), Orange County
- San Clemente Pier (Lifeguard Tower), Orange County
- Leadbetter Beach, Santa Barbara County
- Rio Del Mar, Santa Cruz County
- Moonlight Beach, San Diego County
- Oceanside Beach (San Luis Rey River Outlet), San Diego County
- Baker Beach (Lobos Creek), San Francisco County
- Candlestick Point (Windsurfer Circle), San Francisco County
- Ocean Beach (Balboa St.), San Francisco County
- Ocean Beach (Lincoln Way), San Francisco County
- Ocean Beach (Sloat Blvd.), San Francisco County
- Pismo Beach Pier (Wadsworth Street), San Luis Obispo County *NEW
- Surfers Beach, San Mateo County *NEW
Don’t see your beach on the map? Let us know if you have a beach we should consider for NowCast — we are continually refining and expanding this program and hope to cover more beaches in the future. Predicting water quality is complex and we want to make sure we get it right. This means we need access to a myriad of data sources in order to make accurate predictions, and when data are not readily available, we can’t make the prediction.
Communities looking to bring daily water quality predictions to their favorite beach spots can advocate for this cause in the following ways:
- Advocate at town halls and city council meetings for increased funding toward ocean and environmental data observation, collection, standardization, and analysis programs.
- Support Heal the Bay’s staff scientists efforts to expand monitoring programs and directly fund our work.
- Stay informed about your local water quality and reach out to your representatives in California demanding improvements be made to protect public health and our natural environment.
If you can’t find NowCast predictions in your area, you can see the latest water quality grades issued to over 500 beaches on the Beach Report Card Website. In the meantime, we are working to improve and expand the NowCast system so check back frequently to see if your favorite beach has water quality predictions.
Written by Alison Xunyi Wu. Alison is passionate about using data and science to provide the public with the information they need to avoid environmental microbial pollutants. As Heal the Bay’s Associate Data Specialist, she is currently working on the NowCast models, Beach Report Card, and River Report Card programs by collecting and analyzing environmental bacterial datasets.