HELP MAKE GROUNDWATER MORE UNDERSTANDABLE IN CALIFORNIA.
A summer-long open mapping project. June - August 2013. Bay Area and Beyond.
What is groundwater & why does it matter?
After it rains, after fields are watered, water descends into the ground. It is estimated that the ground is capable of holding 800 million acre feet of water, which is four times the amount of rain that falls each year (though not all of the rain makes it into the ground.) We are using this groundwater for watering fields, supplying extra water for homes, cities and industry.
This summer we are working to make it more possible for Californians to better visualize and understand basic and current groundwater information.
- Where does groundwater go?
- How deep is it?
- How much water is stored?
- Is it polluted?
- How much water are we taking out of the system?
- Where are we depleting the groundwater?
- What else do we want to know?
- Where and how is groundwater recharged?
- What is a waterbank and where are they?
As part of the New California Water Atlas project, we are building interactive data and map visualizations about groundwater in California. We are making it easier for communicators to present information about groundwater with web maps, and exploring ways that groundwater can be visualized over the web. We have a number of groundwater data sources, and will use data clean-up tools and interact with groundwater experts to get data into formats that are easier to use with current web-mapping technologies.
In September, we will promote the work we have done. We expect to have top-notch interactive visualizations that will answer some basic questions.
What do we know about the state of groundwater data in California?
Where is groundwater in California?
What is groundwater? How can different kinds of groundwater need to be represented?
How can we make better web maps that present groundwater in California?
How can we integrate additional datasets to tell more impactful stories about groundwater, for example for public health?
While we are at it, how do we want to feel about our groundwater? What cultural beliefs about our natural resources do we want to inflect into the design assumptions of the work we do? How do we want to heal the land?
We invite you to join us this summer.
We are hosting a series of informal creative gatherings to work on this project. You are invited to attend in person, or if appropriate, to join us over Skype or Google hangout. This is a good way to meet more people interested in actively making better visualizations about groundwater, to learn more about the water system, and to contribute to making a valuable resource of high-quality for all Californians. We are organizing this as a community project, and so will be doing our best (on a small budget) to facilitate and make our gatherings fun, smart, interactive and actually making a difference.
Please check out our calendar of events.
Since we will be actively working all summer, please check back on occasion as events may change or be added.
For more information join our mailing list.