, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 293–297 | Cite as

Climate Change and Microbiological Water Quality at California Beaches

  • Jan C. SemenzaEmail author
  • Joshua S. Caplan
  • Guido Buescher
  • Tapash Das
  • Mitchell V. Brinks
  • Alexander Gershunov
Short Communication


Daily microbiological water quality and precipitation data spanning 6 years were collected from monitoring stations at southern California beaches. Daily precipitation projected for the twenty-first century was derived from downscaled CNRM CM3 global climate model. A time series model of Enterococcus concentrations that was driven by precipitation, matched the general trend of empirical water quality data; there was a positive association between precipitation and microbiological water contamination (P < 0.001). Future projections of precipitation result in a decrease in predicted Enterococcus levels through the majority of the twenty-first century. Nevertheless, variability of storminess due to climate change calls for innovative adaptation and surveillance strategies.


climate change Enterococcus gastroenteritis precipitation recreational water use 



We would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their critical feedback, and Ed Green and Ryan Dwight for their contribution.

Supplementary material

10393_2012_779_MOESM1_ESM.docx (21 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 20 kb)


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Copyright information

© International Association for Ecology and Health 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan C. Semenza
    • 1
    Email author
  • Joshua S. Caplan
    • 2
  • Guido Buescher
    • 3
  • Tapash Das
    • 4
  • Mitchell V. Brinks
    • 5
  • Alexander Gershunov
    • 4
  1. 1.Office of the Chief ScientistEuropean Centre for Disease Preventions and Control (ECDC)StockholmSweden
  2. 2.Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural ResourcesRutgers UniversityNew BrunswickUSA
  3. 3.Institute of Health Economics and Clinical Epidemiology (IGKE)University Hospital CologneCologneGermany
  4. 4.Climate, Atmospheric Science and Physical Oceanography Division, Scripps Institution of OceanographyUniversity of CaliforniaSan DiegoUSA
  5. 5.School of Public HealthOregon State UniversityEugeneUSA

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