Dear Water Boundary Tool user,
I'm writing to let you know that we're making the difficult decision to retire the Water Boundary Tool (WBT) on July 1, 2020. Tracking California created the WBT over a decade ago in order to support public health research, planning, and emergency response. In this time, with the active participation of water systems and other qualified data contributors, we've collected over 4,800 boundaries and provided data to over 6,200 users. However, we've been operating the WBT and providing support to our users without sufficient funding for many years, and we are unable to continue in this fashion without detriment to our program. At the same time, the State has recognized the importance of this work, and the CA Waterboards is currently building its own tool and intends to take on the assembly and maintenance of public water system service area boundaries.
What this means for our users:
- Registered users can continue to use the WBT to create and edit boundaries through June 30th. We will provide limited user support for these activities during this time.
- On July 1st, we will retire the WBT, including any submission or editing of public water system service area boundaries. Our understanding is that the Waterboards tool will be launched on July 1, 2020. We recommend coordinating with them to add or update your service area boundaries from this point forward.
- As of July 1st, Tracking California's WBT service area dataset will become static. However, Tracking California will continue to support our data downloader and map viewer, which is being updated with improved search capabilities.
- After July 1st, we will update the map viewer and data downloader with new datasets as they become available by the Waterboards.
We recognize that these data are critical to public health, and Waterboards has assured us that they will continue to make their data publicly available to our community of users. Tracking CA is not involved in the planning or development of the Waterboards tool. If you have questions or concerns about their new tool and data collection efforts, please contact DDW-PLU@waterboards.ca.gov.
I'm proud that Tracking California's WBT and the dedicated project team behind it have paved the way for Waterboards- whose staff have been using our tool and data for many years- to take on this essential public health function.
Finally, I want to acknowledge the many water systems, districts, and others who have shared their data through our tool. These contributions have and will continue to support countless public health activities throughout the state.
Thank you again for your interest, use, and support of the tool these past years.
Director, Tracking California