The Challenge

The challenge to participants is to use at least one open data source, from the list provided on the website, to develop meaningful information that has the potential to advance California’s capacity to ensure that every Californian has access to sufficient, safe, and affordable water for basic human needs.

To guide the efforts of challenge participants, the following are examples of information and analytics that could be helpful. Data experts and mentors will be available to provide more details and context to participants through in-person and virtual community events.

Participant Community Space

  1. How might we improve our understanding and capture actionable insights about safe drinking water in California?
    • Are there new ways to visualize the data to help all Californians understand the problem?
    • Can we create a data visualization and/or tool to help Sustainable Groundwater Management Agencies understand and monitor vulnerable communities in their basin?
    • Is there a means to use existing data to identify disadvantaged unincorporated communities?

  2. How might we create effective tools that help community members provide information and improve accessibility?
    • How might we assist community members and small systems to accurately define their service boundaries? In particular, how might we enable community members to indicate where they are included within system boundaries, but are not actually served by the system?
    • How could community members easily report disruptions to their clean water access?
    • What might a “safe water finder” look like? How might we provide a means for communities to quickly identify where there may be nearby, available water resources to address a water shortage?

  3. How might we better identify communities that may be vulnerable, but have not yet lost access to safe drinking water?
    • How might we create better tools for identifying vulnerable communities in real time?
    • How might we use existing data to develop an analytical tool that estimates vulnerability to safe water service disruptions?
    • How might we use existing data in combination with household/community self-reports of water quality or supply disruption to develop new insights? How might we trigger real-time alerts to counties, cities, communities, and state agencies?
    • Is there a mechanism to meaningfully link water system boundaries with system characteristics available in the annual electronic reporting data collected by the Drinking Water Division of the State Water Resources Control Board?

  4. What new solutions can data offer?
    • How might we help identify areas where there is good potential for water systems to be combined and achieve an affordable economy of scale?
    • How might we help groundwater sustainability agencies consider the impacts and benefits of their proposed actions on communities vulnerable to water shortages and/or water quality impairment?