California Water Boundary Tool (WBT)
The Water Systems Geographic Reporting Tool, also known as the Water Boundary Tool (WBT) was developed by PHI’s California Environmental Health Tracking Program (CEHTP) to facilitate the creation, collection, and vetting of digital maps for every public water system in California. Use the interactive map to view the water system customer service area boundaries, or further filter systems using the options provided.
There is no complete map of 8000-plus public water systems for California, nor is the collection of this essential information required by the state. The WBT allows personnel from water systems, state primacy field operations districts, local primacy agencies (LPAs), other state agencies, and other qualified individuals to input and edit customer service area boundaries for drinking water systems throughout California. This in turn will make it possible to develop an accurate, complete, high-resolution, digital map of all public water system customer service area boundaries in California.
As part of this effort, CEHTP is creating a publicly-available geographic information system (GIS) layer that will help California to:
- Prepare for emergencies that may impact water systems, such as natural disasters, chemical spills, and other emergency situations.
- Conduct important research about the relationship between drinking water, the environment, and our health.
- Conduct drinking water management and drought-related activities Increase collaboration and communication between water systems and with other public utilities.
The WBT can specifically assist water systems to:
- Digitize their customer service area boundaries and use the digital file for their own needs. Any data entered into the system can immediately be exported and viewed in Google Earth, Google Maps, or GIS software like ArcGIS.
- Identify affected areas, mobilize and allocate resources, and contact neighboring water systems during emergencies.
- Better understand, analyze, and summarize information about the areas and populations served.
The California Environmental Health Tracking Program (CEHTP) is a collaboration of the Public Health Institute and the California Department of Public Health. CEHTP is part of a national initiative coordinated by the National Environmental Public Health Tracking Program.
Originally published by PHI's California Environmental Health Tracking Program