The California Water Data Consortium is a nonprofit organization that supports data-informed decision-making in California about water in the face of climate change and other pressures on water resources. We amplify efforts to improve water data infrastructure by creating a neutral organizational space to build trust and facilitate collaboration across sectors.
The Consortium is led by Tara Moran as CEO and a board of directors including public officials, water district managers, funders, and water data experts.
We strive to foster collaboration, entrepreneurship, and innovation.
Decisions on how to move and manage water are often hampered by limited information and historic conflicts. In 2016, California took a major step toward addressing these challenges by passing the Open and Transparent Water Data Act (AB 1755). Led by Senator Dodd, Legislators agreed that if we want a more secure water future for all, California needs accessible, comprehensive, and trusted open water and ecological data.
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) was tasked with implementing AB 1755 in consultation with several other agencies. Recognizing that success would require a strong partnership across state agencies, they formed the Partner Agency Team (PAT), comprised of eight state organizations - DWR, the State Water Resources Control Board, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, California Water Quality Monitoring Council, Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, California Natural Resources Agency, California Government Operations Agency, and the Delta Stewardship Council. Working together, the Partner Agency Team developed a strategic plan and an implementation journal reflecting state efforts and progress.
The PAT recognized that success would also require strong partnerships inside and outside of state government. The Water Foundation assisted the Partner Agency Team by convening multiple water data experts and stakeholders and partnering with Redstone Strategy Group to facilitate a series of collaborative workshops focused on data governance. The Water Foundation and Redstone Strategy Group issued recommendations in 2018 stemming from these discussions, including the creation of an organization external to the state that would support implementation of AB 1755. On behalf of the PAT, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research convened the Water Data Advisory Council (Council), a team of experts and thought leaders, including state officials, agricultural and urban water users, water data experts, and environmental advocates, to identify the most critical needs to achieve this vision.
The Council convened three public meetings beginning in late 2018, and in March 2019 the Council recommended creation of a nonprofit Water Data Consortium to facilitate collaboration and sustained engagement to support California’s preparedness for future droughts and more extreme climate impacts. A founding board of directors incorporated the California Water Data Consortium in July 2019.