Visualizing California's Dynamic Urban Water Use


Many factors played a role on how California water utilities and consumers responded to the drought. One important, and often overlooked factor, is how political action and high media coverage during this critical period has impacted individual behaviors.

Click through the interactive stories below to learn more about the relationship between political action, media and public interest during the California drought.


There is a correlation between public interest in the drought and conservation levels achieved in the state


Measuring public interest through Google Searches



Media coverage played an important role in driving behavioral changes, by educating the public and raising awareness of critical conditions even before mandates were in place


News Media Coverage and Public interest


*Data on media coverage was obtained using the open-source algorithm Articulate, developed by the Urban Water Policy and Innovation team at Stanford University.