About 90% of California residents receive their drinking water from a public water system, with the remaining residents relying on private wells or other sources. A water system's customer service area is the geographic location that they provide water to. In other words, the service area encompasses all residential and commercial customer connections for which the water system has a permit to provide services and can bill payment. This information is not considered sensitive or confidential.
Without a statewide digital map of water system customer service areas, it is challenging to answer basic questions, such as:
- Which water system supplies water to a specific address?
- What populations are served by a particular water system?
- What is the drinking water quality for a specific community?
- If there is a natural or man-made disaster in a specific location, which water systems should be contacted?
- Which populations in the state are not supplied by public water systems?
For these reasons, Tracking California initiated the Water Boundary Tool (WBT) Project, developing the WBT in an effort to map the 8000-plus public water systems in California