New CaDC Collaborations in 2017!

Happy 2017!  The CaDC coalition is growing and starting the new year off with a bang with two new collaborations!  The first is six new interns from New York University’s Center for Urban Science and Progress (where many of CaDC’s core staff worked).  Second, CaDC staff has been working with Civic Spark Fellows at EMWD, IEUA, SAWPA along with CaDC technical working group participants to develop a survey on outdoor water use attitudes.  Each of these collaborations is described in greater detail below.

CUSP Winter Water Data Internship

The six CUSP interns have been split into teams of two on each of the following three projects.

Reservoir Explorer

The CaDC Reservoir explorer tool provides a simple interactive interface to see the levels of California’s reservoirs.  The California Data Exchange has a similar visualization for a smaller number of California's reservoirs.  The underlying data, however, is opaque and a user clicking on "current data" gets a pdf version for printing rather than actual machine readable data that can be manipulated.  This winter sprint will focus on automating data ingestion and conducting usability improvements to the tool.

Evapotranspiration Integration

Evapotranspiration measures the water needs of landscapes and forms a critical data point in Governor Brown's new long term framework for water conservation. This data is measured statewide in highly accurate though occasionally geospatially sparse in situ sensor networks and interpolating that data across California requires wind, precipitation, solar radiation and other publicly available data. Those data sources however are fragmented and integrating those together along with the appropriate scientific methodology can help improve this important measurement for the people of California.  The goal of this three week sprint is to finalize the specific datasources to be integrated and code the first iteration of the parsers to automate the ingestion of those sources.

Open Water Rate Specification (“OWRS”) Deployment

OWRS is an open data standard designed for analysts, economists, and software developers interested in analyzing water rates. OWRS attempts to fully encode a water utility's rate structure and pricing schedules in a form that is easy to store, share, modify and apply programmatically.  Over the course of this winter sprint, CUSP interns will translate the rate structures of CaDC retail water utilities and other major water retailers into the OWRS format. This work marks the start of a comprehensive database of water pricing information to inform revenue stability and water pricing for utilities across the state.

Civic Spark / CaDC Survey on Outdoor Water Use Attitudes

The goal of this project is to understand the landscaping choices of California residents and to identify factors that influence outdoor watering practices. The core components of this work will include developing a household survey and recruiting and training volunteers to conduct the survey statewide. This will occur over the following timeline.


January – February 2017: Recruit volunteers.

February – April 2017: Train volunteers and conduct survey.

May 2017: Review and organize survey responses.

June 2017: Collect and present fellow and volunteer feedback to Inland Empire fellows.

July 2017: Develop transition materials.

The survey questions are still being finalized with partner agencies though the survey sampling methodology is available on the CaDC GitHub here.  

Please let us know if you’re interested in contributing to a project or just dive right into the CaDC GitHub.