Communicating with the public about water quality issues is a challenging task. It is difficult to talk about the highly technical nature of water quality data. This is especially true when communicating with an interested, yet non-technical lay population. The Urban Waters Partnership successfully commissioned the web-based Metro Water Quality Assessment Tool (WQAT) to engage the public. The nature of the engagement is a discussion about E. Coli in our urban waterways.
The WQAT provides very high-level information to help people understand and relate to this issue. For those who wish to dig deeper, the tool allows access to a rich repository of data through intuitive and interactive maps and graphics.
The Metro Water Quality Assessment tool is built on open source technology and leverages the Open Layers mapping project, Google Technology, a Linux cloud server and the powerful PostgreSQL database server.