Search for Data Stories

You can search or browse through published stories from the main Data Stories page. This page provides guidance on the categories, sectors, and value propositions we use to organize them. Please contact us at if you have questions!

The drop down menu enables you to search for a data story based on data type and sector(s) involved.

Water Budget

The basic components of a water budget are: quantity, quality, and use. Data stories are tagged by the portion of the water budget highlighted. Water flows through infrastructure, both natural and built, which is included as its own component.


Category Description
Water Quantity Streamflow, lake levels, groundwater levels, soil moisture, and weather (precipitation, snow, evapotranspiration). Includes water quantity legislation.
Water Quality Constituents in water such as temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, nutrients, specific conductance, turbidity. Includes the health of ecosystem indicators, such as benthos, fish, and riparian vegetation. Includes water quality regulations and legislation.
Water Use Water withdrawals, consumption, discharge / return flows, transfers, reclaimed water, and so on. Includes water quality once removed from surface or groundwater sources. Water rights and appropriations are included here.
Infrastructure Natural infrastructure such as the location of streams, aquifers, lakes, and so on. Built infrastructure such as reservoirs, levees, treatment plants, stormwater, green infrastructure, pipes, and canals.


Data stories include who pays for data and who receives benefits from using the data. Different sectors will have different missions and value propositions. Data stories can be searched by sector.


Category Description
Agriculture Data and value are linked to agricultural community and food production.
Government Data and value are linked to federal, state, or local government actions. Utilities may or may not be considered part of the local government.
Industry Data and value are linked to private businesses and industry.
Non-governmental Data and value are linked to academia and NGOs.
Utilities Data and value are linked to water and wastewater utility providers.

Value Propositions

There are infinite value propositions for data. We have created broad categories of value propositions based on commonly experienced benefits. These categories may grow and change as we become better at articulating the value propositions for water data.

Icon Description
Return on Investment: The data story provides a return on investment, or benefit-to-cost ratio (does not assume the costs and benefits accrue to the same organization).
Water Savings: Data were used to create water savings.
Time Savings: Time savings result when less effort is needed to discover, access, and make the data usable. Time can now be spent innovating and creating insights.
Increased Productivity: Data were used to increase productivity of some type.
Avoided Costs: Data were used to reduce damages. Examples would include earlier and more accurate forecasts reduce flood or drought damages and prioritizing buy-out programs. Data led to avoided costs or lost opportunity costs. An example would be using integrated, real-time data to inform diversion decisions in the Bay Delta.
Improved Decision-Making: Data were used to improve either real-time or broad decision-making. Better decisions can lead to other types of benefits (water savings, avoided costs, healthier ecosystems, etc.)
Cooperation and Not Litigation: Sharing data enables stakeholders to come to the table with the same data. Different stakeholders with different data can result in months or years of debate just to reach agreement on baseline conditions, sometimes leading to litigation.
Accurate Design and Integrated Operations: Longer periods of record and integrated data can improve the design and operation of infrastructure.
Innovation: Shared and integrated data can result in innovation that leads to other benefits, particularly improved management of water resources.