September 16, 2018

The Division of Data Sciences, in partnership with the Berkeley Institute for Data Science and West Big Data Innovation Hub, hosted the 2018 California Water Data Hackathon from September 14-15 to advance the movement towards safe drinking water. Attendees had the opportunity to leverage core data science, programming, and analytic skills and tools to build a project in support of the California Safe Drinking Water Data Challenge (June 26 - October 1, 2018).

hackathon winners

The main goal of the #CAWaterDataChallenge was to increase community access to safe drinking water, better understand vulnerabilities, and identify and deploy solutions. Delivering sufficient, safe, and affordable drinking water to over 200,000 afflicted Californians has been an ongoing battle. The event increased engagement in the issue by providing attendees with access to additional data, technology, tools, and resources aligned with the challenge. Attendees had the chance to experience the power of open data to create new tools for identifying vulnerable communities and to develop analytical tools estimating vulnerability to safe water service disruptions.

Timed with the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco #GCAS2018, this open-to-all community event helped existing Challenge participant teams, as well as new participants, leverage open data recently released in machine-readable formats.

More About The Challenge

On any given day in California, around 200,000 Californians turn on their taps and the water that comes out is unsafe to drink and may be unsafe to use for basic needs like bathing. Annually, up to 1 million Californians lack access to clean, safe drinking water at some point during the year. Droughts and other disruptions in the water supply can limit or eliminate access to safe drinking water for days, months, or years. Some communities have been exposed to unsafe water for more than a decade.