New Report: Data for Water Decision Making

February 1, 2018

Informing the Implementation of California’s Open and Transparent Water Data Act through Research and Engagement

Our new report, Data for Water Decision Making: Informing the Implementation of California’s Open and Transparent Water Data Act through Research and Engagement, is a multi-institution collaboration led by the Center for Law, Energy & the Environment at UC Berkeley School of Law.

This report presents the results from an effort to examine how water data system can best be designed to be useful and useable for improving water management in California. It makes a case for basing the development of data systems upon end users’ needs; describes a process for engaging stakeholders in the assessment of data needs and the design of a data system; and summarizes lessons emerging from the engagement process. A central goal of the report is to support California’s efforts to make the most of AB 1755, California’s Open and Transparent Water Data Act. In concert with other efforts, we seek to develop an inclusive and actionable vision for the future of water data in California. We argue that this requires understanding, articulating, and communicating decision makers’ processes, and using these requirements to inform the design of data systems.

In addition to the report, we are also making available the twenty use cases - short examinations on a range of topics of how decision makers use data. We offer the structure and process for developing formal use cases as a method for assessing stakeholder data needs in specific decision contexts and communicating those needs to technical developers. 

More details, along with the full report, is available at