California, White House Launch Water Data Challenge


The state of California and the White House are coming together on a new open data challenge around California’s drought. The challenge is backed by Governor Brown’s Water Action Plan, which is a roadmap for the first five years of the state’s work on sustainable water management. The Governor and several state agencies are inviting developers to use the state’s open data to create applications that help save water.

The challenge will run from October 28 – December 5, 2016. Final entries must be submitted by 5:00 pm Pacific Time on December 5, 2016, and a closing event will be held on December 9, 2016.

The State Water Board, as well as the California Department of Water Resources, California Fish and Wildlife, California Government Operations Agency and the California Department of Technology, are sponsoring the event. These agencies will also be supported by the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

The challenge is organized around several themes including how to address water loss, habitat loss, water supply disruption and episodic flooding. Officials envision apps, visualizations and other submissions will be created with solutions for these themes. The state of California has also launched a dedicated website offering datasets and support contacts to challenge participants.

“We have learned that the creative energy this type of event generates in a short period of time yields phenomenal benefits, so we are grateful to the Council on Environmental Quality for partnering with us on this project,” said Felicia Marcus, chair of the State Water Resources Control Board, in a statement on the event.