Leveraging Data to Solve California’s Drought

California might be the home of technological innovation, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at the state’s antiquated water data system. With California entering its unprecedented fifth year of drought, the Bay Area Council is leading discussions about how the state can use 21st century data systems to improve water management and reduce inefficiencies system wide. In February, the Council announced it was sponsoring AB 1755 (Dodd), the Open and Transparent Water Data Act. The bill would create an open source platform for state water data, and is now in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. As part of this effort, the Council’s Water Committee on Tuesday (May 24) held a special stakeholders briefing on what role the private sector can play to help upgrade the state’s water system.

More than 40 Council members representing technology, finance, engineering and regional water agencies attended to hear speakers Lester Snow (Water Foundation), David Guy (Northern California Water Association), Dave Bolland (Association of California Water Agencies), and Frank Loge, Director of the UC Davis Center for Water-Energy Efficiency. The meeting closed with committee members forming a task-force, suggested by Water Committee Co-Chair Andy Ball, West Coast President, Suffolk Construction, to examine the question of how to monetize and create business opportunities from water data. To engage with the Council’s water work, please contact Policy Director Adrian Covert.

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