Data Stories

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Valuing Data

Without clear value propositions demonstrating how water data improves outcomes, investment in water data will remain minimal. Learn why data are hard to value and how to assess value.

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Share your own example of how water data led to better outcomes within your organization.

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Nicole Geri @ Unsplash

The National Weather Service is the primary source of public weather data and forecasts used to inform decision-making and mitigate losses from extreme weather. A willingness-to-pay survey and an impact analysis suggest the potential benefit-to-cost ratio is between $3 (includes forecasts from all federal and private agencies) and $15 (assumes most of the underlying data and forecasts come from the National Weather Service) of value for every $1 spent.

The California Irrigation Management Information System (CIMIS) provides raw weather data, as well as information on evaporation rates and crop water usage, to inform irrigation decisions. A series of surveys demonstrated CIMIS was used to save water and increase crop productivity. The benefit-to-cost ratio of CIMIS to irrigation users was between $56 and $76 for every $1 spent.