Managing Urban Water Use When Every Drop Counts

April 27, 2016

 As part of National Volunteer Week 2016, we are profiling our DataCorps volunteers of projects past, present and future. These volunteers donate a whopping 5-10 hours a week over the course of several months to apply data science techniques that can help advance a social change organization's mission.

"We're honored to have such a talented team deploying modern data tools to integrate water demand forecasting into our recycled water operations. And through the California Data Collaborative we have developed a path to deliver their data science products to not just MNWD but the entire California water world."

-Drew Atwater, Water Resources Manager

Moulton Niguel Water District (MNWD) provides water, recycled water, and wastewater service to approximately 170,000 people across several cities in Southern California. Facing the worst drought California has seen in the past 500 years, MNWD is working with a DataCorps team to forecast water demand at the microzone level. They will be using water usage data and census data to better manage demand, improve pricing, expand conservation programs, and implement initiatives to increase the efficiency of water transportation around their network. By leveraging data to inform its efforts, MNWD hopes to create a sustainable level of urban water use and prepare for future potentially worse droughts. MNWD is part of the California Data Collaborative, which was recently honored by the White House at its inaugural Water Summit for its innovative use of data to promote water efficiency and management.

What inspires this team to give back?


"The chance to change the world for the better and meet amazing people."

Eman Abo Alya
Eman is a Statistical Consultant at University of Toronto, Data Scientist Freelancer, Private Novel Writer. Data for Eman is a human that tells a history, while looking for the untold.


"It is easy to make a buck. It's a lot harder to make a difference."

Will High
Will is a data scientist at Netflix working on predicting demand for shows. His background is in physics.


"To leverage everything that I've learned in school to help solve a real problem, and have some fun along the way."

Daniel Gitelman
Daniel is a PhD candidate at Princeton University, working in the intersection of probability, statistics and computer science.


“Volunteering itself is rewarding and fulfilling to me; DataKind provides me this unique opportunity to make positive changes through the use of data.”

Yu Zhou
Yu is a Visiting Scientist at Eli Lilly & Company working on health economics. He’s also takes time to give back, volunteering as a school teacher, house builder, organic farmer and physician assistant.


Special thanks to Joshua Goldstein for his contributions to the team as well!

Learn more at Bloomberg’s Data for Good Exchange September 25th!

Bloomberg made a commitment last fall during Pro Bono Week to support DataKind projects as a way of encouraging more pro bono data science and we are grateful for their sponsorship of this project as well as another with Thresholds

Not only are they sponsoring these projects through, they are also giving both teams a chance to present their findings at their upcoming Data for Good Exchange September 25th in New York. This annual gathering brings together some of the top data scientists and social change-makers under one roof. With this year’s theme focused on “better governance” - or how data science can be applied to solve public interest problems - it’s a perfect venue for our volunteers to share their learnings with the wider community. Let us know if we’ll see you there!

Learn more about the Data for Good Exchange >