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Transforming how water is managed in the West

California is challenged by its worst drought in 600 years and faces future water uncertainty. Pioneering new data infrastructure to integrate water use data across California’s more than a thousand water providers will support water managers in ensuring water reliability

challenge

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Transforming how water is managed in the West

California is challenged by its worst drought in 600 years and faces future water uncertainty. Pioneering new data infrastructure to integrate water use data across California’s more than a thousand water providers will support water managers in ensuring water reliability
39.5M
people impacted
$23.5B
potential funding
the problem
Nature and Context

The California Data Collaborative coalition of water utilities serves 3.7 million Californians directly through retail water service and serves over half of the state on a wholesale level. This group of water managers came together out of a shared frustration with suboptimal water use data collected by the state that compares local utilities using imperfect, one-size-fits-all averages. Not content to simply accept the status quo, the California Data Collaborative has piloted new data infrastructure and centralized actual metered water use to power a quantum leap in smart water efficiency.

The data infrastructure developed by project staff aligns disparate utility-specific customer codes with standard statewide customer classifications along with key contextual information like evapotranspiration, irrigable area, and demographics. This standardized data can benchmark water efficiency through meaningful comparisons using California’s existing Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance (MWELO) and support water managers in actually achieving that efficiency by providing tools to measure past performance and target future water efficiency goals.

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the impact
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ideas
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