On any given day in California, around 200,000 Californians turn on their taps
and the water that comes out is unsafe to drink and may be unsafe to use for
basic needs like bathing. Annually, up to 1 million Californians lack access
to clean, safe drinking water at some point during the year. Droughts and
other disruptions in water supply can limit or eliminate access to safe drinking
water for days, months, or years. Some communities have been exposed to unsafe
water for more than a decade.
Small water systems and domestic well users are particularly vulnerable to disruptions in
their access to safe drinking water. While the most publicized examples are in rural areas
of the state, delivering sufficient, safe, and affordable drinking water poses a challenge
to small systems and domestic well users in almost every region of the state. Many of the
most vulnerable systems and domestic well users rely primarily on groundwater for their water supply.
The Safe Drinking Water Data Challenge is designed to explore data’s potential to help us
better understand community access to safe drinking water, anticipate vulnerabilities,
and identify and deploy solutions.
Open and Transparent Water Data
California is in the process of implementing the Open and Transparent Water Data Act (AB 1755)
to publish water and ecosystem information in an open data format. In addition to fostering the
development of innovative tools and insights related to safe drinking water, the California Safe
Drinking Water Data Challenge will provide participants an opportunity to engage with the open
data portal and submit feedback, advice, and suggestions for consideration as AB 1755 is implemented.