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The Drinking Water Tool: A Community-Driven Data Visualization Tool for Policy Implementation.


The Drinking Water Tool (DWT) is a community-driven online tool that provides diverse users with information about drinking water sources and threats to drinking water quality and access due to drought. Development of the DWT was guided by the Community Water Center (CWC) as part of the Water Equity Science Shop (WESS), a research partnership integrating elements of community-based participatory research and the European Science Shop model. The WESS engages in scientific projects that inform policy change, advance water justice, and reduce cumulative exposure and disproportionate health burdens among impacted communities in California. WESS researchers conducted qualitative analysis of 15 stakeholder interviews regarding the DWT, including iterative feedback and the stakeholder consultation process as well as stakeholder perceptions of the tool's impact on California water policy, organizing, and research. Results indicate that the DWT and the stakeholder engagement process which developed it were effective in influencing policy priorities and in promoting interagency coordination at multiple levels to address water equity challenges and their disproportionate burdens, particularly among rural and low socioeconomic status areas and communities of color.

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