The New California Water Atlas

Making water understandable in California

Urban Water

A Water Pricing interactive will collect location-based data on urban water pricing. The goal is to provide higher resolution data of prices and rates, and achieve a more nuanced profile of the residential water user. We will try a crowdsourcing experiment to collect residential water pricing data, where data is currently unavailable. This section of the Atlas will not only provide accessible and clarifying data on pricing, but a visual representation will also offer users a greater context for how much they pay and why. We hope this project will help to illuminate the disconnect between water scarcity and water prices, highlighting the diversity of prices and rate structures across the state.


  • communicate clearly to users about the price of water, and their respective rate structures
  • offer higher resolution data than what is currently available
  • provide an interactive interface that allows users to search, filter, and export water price data
  • communicate trends, both historically and geographically, with maps and data-driven visualizations
  • make current and historical data accessible in accordance with open-data best practices
  • provide spanish language support
  • build a platform that is easily scalable to other states or regions


  • build web friendly, dynamic maps and data visualizations with smoothly functioning inter- faces that focus on simplicity and clarity
  • use data from the CPUC, and encourage other agencies/utilities to participate
  • crowd-sourced data: provide an anonymous and secure data entry interface for users to submit their water bill data
  • differentiate between user submitted data and “authoritative” agency/utility data
  • provide API and bulk download support
  • provide documentation for API and related datasets
  • design site to be responsive to mobile devices and accessible to screen readers
  • use open-source tools and software

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