Evaluating the Use of Data Platforms for Water Management Decisions

Building Effective Water Data Platforms

There has been increasing recognition that the fragmentation of water and ecological data across California hinders effective and timely water management decisions. To help remedy this issue, developers are building water data platforms to help pull together the data relevant to the decision-making process. Beginning in 2016, Water in the West evaluated the development and implementation of two water data platforms to determine their impact on water management decisions. These platforms were the Shasta Operations for Winter Run (SHOWR) and the Groundwater Recharge Assessment Tool (GRAT). The research analyzed an additional two case studies to determine the generalizability of findings from the SHOWR and GRAT. This work culminated in a summary report laying out the methods and key findings and supplemental materials.

In 2019, Water in the West extended this research, looking at eight more data platforms. Key findings and recommendations for building successful decision support tools to water management were developed using the full dataset. A template Request for Proposals (RFP) – s a framework for soliciting requests for future decision-support tools – was also developed. While intended primarily for tool funders and developers, state and federal agency representatives and others involved in water management tool development may also benefit from the lessons and processes captured in the RFP. Below are links to all the documents included in this analysis and a PowerPoint presentation describing the key findings and recommendations from the research.