Seven California Water Agencies Unify Water Conservation Efforts
by Sharing Data from 3.7 Million People.
The White House Water Summit has recognized the efforts of seven California water agencies, the California Data Collaborative, to fast track and enhance water conservation efforts by teaming together to share data and knowledge. The Collaborative is joint effort of seven California public water agencies to establish and accelerate the development of smart conservation targets by collectively leveraging water use data from the 3.7 million people the agencies serve. Over the next six months the Collaborative, it will use its more than 1.8 billion records to develop a new, statewide water conservation framework customized to the unique needs of California’s diverse communities.
There is no single source in California for validated water agency data for use in conducting analytics to inform strategic demand management decisions. This became apparent during the spring of 2015, when statewide water conservation targets without the benefit of good data. Good data is extremely valuable to identify opportunities for future demand management programs, as well as help identify whether programs are effective.
“We are extremely pleased to have the White House recognize our efforts here in Southern California,” said Joone Lopez, General Manager for Mouton Nigel Water Agency, the California agency administering the joint effort. “The Collaborative is working with water agencies throughout the State along with various academic institutions including University of California, Davis, University of California, Riverside and Stanford, to bring big-data applications to the water industry, a strategy that has proven to be effective and successful in private and other large municipalities.”
With more than a thousand water providers in California, having comprehensive and consistent data has been a long-standing obstacle to meaningful and practical water policies over the years. As focus on conservation and water efficiency continues to increase, the ability to use data to evaluate current actions, identify opportunities, and develop new strategies that strike a balance between efficiency and local supply investment is critical.
“We are thankful for the recognition from the White House and proud of the great work that’s being done through the California Data Collaborative,” added Board President Don Froelich of MNWD. “The more we know, the more we can do to help our customers be efficient and mitigate rate impacts by making sound investments towards future reliability.”
The current drought is the worst in 500 years, and California faces substantial water supply uncertainty looking into the next century. Yet by collaborating smartly, we can prepare our State to adapt to future challenges.
About the California Data Collaborative
The California Data Collaborative is a coalition of municipal water utilities dedicated to sharing water usage data to enable smarter water conservation. Current participants include Agencies: East Bay Municipal Utility District; Eastern Municipal Water District; Inland Empire Utilities Agency; Irvine Ranch Water District; Las Virgenes Municipal Water District; and Santa Margarita Water District. The goal is to have agencies throughout the State work together to help each other to better serve all Californians. Download backgrounder
About the White House Water Summit:
For the first time, the White House hosted a Water Summit to recognize innovative and pioneering efforts across the nation that promote water efficiency and management. The California Data Collaborative was selected from a national pool of applicants through an open call for innovative projects. More information is available at https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/03/22/fact-sheet-working-together-build-sustainable-water-future
Patrick Atwater, Project Manager