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2018 Safe Drinking Water Data Challenge

This series of events and community-led activities includes engagements such as National Day of Civic Hacking, online tutorials, fireside chats, and hackathons. They will all culminate in a summit and awards ceremony recognizing teams and partners that have worked hard throughout the summer to ensure every Californian has access to safe drinking water. Submissions are due by October 1 and the Summit and Award Ceremony will be October 18.

General awards will include:

  • Rising Innovator Award
  • Ready-to-Go Award (Feasibility of implementation)
  • Moonshot Award
  • Most Engaging By Design
  • Most Data-licious
  • Team Spirit and Collaboration
  • People’s Choice (voted by attendees)

Exciting announcement: Each of the 7 General Awards above will now also include a $1,500 cash prize thanks to Cal Water. The new Cal Water contributions raise the total prizes available to $12,000 that will be awarded directly to the California Safe Drinking Water Data Challenge teams.

The Imagine H2O Award will grant award $1,500 and select accelerator services to a team that best demonstrates Impact, Scalability, Innovation in their solution. More information and terms and conditions available on the Imagine H2O website.

About the Challenge

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.

In cooperation with these State Agencies:

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