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Status: The water tool is functioning normally.

Water Boundary Tool

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California Environmental Health Tracking Program

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Last Edited: 9/22/2015

Drinking Water Systems Geographic Reporting Tool


Welcome to the California Environmental Health Tracking Program (CEHTP) Drinking Water Systems Geographic Reporting Tool, also known as the Water Boundary Tool (WBT). This tool is specifically for use by California public water systems, local primacy agencies, and state water programs.  CEHTP is a collaboration between the Public Health Institute and the California Department of Public Health.  CEHTP developed the WBT with initial funding from the CDC’s National Environmental Public Health Tracking Program in and launched the tool in 2012.


Current Tool Status: Release of new version set for early October

CEHTP does not currently receive specific funding to maintain, repair, or develop the WBT. For this reason, while we are committed to supporting the WBT to the best of our capabilities, we have been unable to maintain all functionality of the tool and may be limited in our ability to respond to specific requests or issues.  While we may not be able to respond immediately, please contact us with any questions, problems, or comments.  

This tool was envisioned and developed by CEHTP’s late Geospatial Sciences Director, Craig Wolff, who passed away in 2013.  With the tragic loss of a beloved colleague, CEHTP also lost unique expertise and historical knowledge about the WBT’s development and maintenance.  Therefore, in the intervening time, the WBT has experienced loss of functionality in some components.  However, CEHTP has been working to implement a streamlined version of the tool, set to launch in mid-September 2015, and we hope to continue to add features thereafter as our capacity allows

If you encounter a problem in entering your data, or you would like help in doing so, please contact us by clicking here


To begin using the tool, users must register for an account.  If you already have an account, please log in.  To learn more about the tool, select from the topics below.   


About the tool 

The Water Systems Geographic Reporting Tool allows personnel from water systems, state primacy field operations districts, local primacy agencies (LPAs), other state agencies, and other qualified individuals to input and edit customer service area boundaries for drinking water systems throughout California. 

The tool also allows users to:

  • Create and edit service area boundaries
  • Track boundaries as they change over time
  • Collaborate with other users to improve accuracy of boundaries
  • View boundaries on Google Maps
  • Export digital files of the customer service areas

To learn more, view FAQs or our presentation at the CA/NV American Water Works Association conference on March 30, 2011.

To begin using the tool, users must register for an account.

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About the data

The data collected are publicly available, so individuals do not need to be registered for the WBT to access and use the data.  When using the data, please remember that its collection is through an ongoing crowd-sourcing effort with participation by personnel from many water systems, districts, and other agencies.  Therefore, between water systems, the data may vary in terms of data quality and completeness.  Additionally, the WBT dataset may be updated frequently as water system boundaries are submitted, so past datasets may become outdated.  Though various administrative checks are employed to maintain the quality and consistency of these datasets, the authors of the data and the owners of the reporting system assume no liability for your use of this data. Use it at your own risk and discretion.

The data are available here.  We request that you cite the California Environmental Health Tracking Program or link to the CEHTP website when reporting results that are derived from the service area boundaries managed by the WBT.    


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Purpose of the tool

CEHTP, along with our partners, created this tool with the following goals:

  • Produce a high resolution, digital map of drinking water system customer service areas for the entire state of California
  • Assist water systems in digitizing their customer service area boundaries and identifying their neighboring systems
  • Create a geographic information system (GIS) layer that can be used for:
    • Emergency preparedness
    • Public health prevention and response
    • Research to better understand the relationship between drinking water, health, and the environment

 To learn more about the tool, view FAQs and our Spring 2012 Newsletter.  Learn about how the tool has been used in our Spring 2013 Newsletter


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Partnerships and support

Based on our interest in gathering data to support our understanding of potential exposures to drinking water contaminants, CEHTP initiated this effort; developed, deployed, and maintains the tool; and hosts the website.  The initial development of the tool was supported by a grant from the CDC National Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) Program.  We would like to acknowledge partners who were provide essential support in our efforts to develop the tool.

CEHTP would like to acknowledge the CDC National EPHT Program, which provides funding to support development and maintenance of CEHTP’s web portal, where the WBT resides.  Specific maintenance, repair, and enhancement of the WBT are not currently funded. 

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For assistance and information

  • FAQs - View our Frequently Asked Questions to learn more about the tool
  • Instructions and Tutorials - View step-by-step instructions for using the tool

For more information, contact the tool administrator.  Please notify us of any problems with our tool.  We welcome your comments and feedback.


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