WATER DATA CHALLENGE
The California Water Data Challenge, led by the West Hub with the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, aims to facilitate team-based data projects and tool development. The Challenge attracts both new and returning participants and mentors, having been cited as an “extraordinary” piece of community engagement critical to innovation, feedback, and implementation of the first-in-the-nation 2016 legislation for more accessible water and ecological data (AB1755). As collaborators from the Water Foundation have noted, the Challenge results helped “make the case” in 2019 for a historic statewide Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund of $1.3 Billion over the next decade. The synergy between the Hub efforts and the wide-reaching water data collaborations across more than eight state agencies can be seen in jointly-generated video content (supported by State staff) as well as the formation of an entirely new, State endorsed nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, the California Water Data Consortium. The Consortium hired its first President and CEO beginning in Summer 2020. The Hub anticipates additional opportunities to link evolving community structures towards shared goals.