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Collective Understanding Leads to Collective Action

Water intelligence supports a shared approach to solving water challenges.

This is the third of a three-part series designed to help readers understand the watersheds they depend on for drinking water and to provide easy-to-understand information on water quality. Read Part I and Part II of the series.

The quality of our drinking water depends on the quality of our shared water resources. Unfortunately, our shared water resources are increasingly under threat due to climate change impacts, pollution and demands from a growing population.

While drinking water utilities work hard to make sure that safe, sufficient drinking water is available, government leaders and constituents have a collective opportunity to steward the watersheds that provide our drinking water. Working together helps ensure drinking water is safe and reliable for everyone.

Collective action toward watershed health requires collective understanding. City and state leaders need water intelligence to inform policies and regulations, and communities need understandable and available water data to support collective action.

Water is a dynamic, ever-changing, complex web of interrelated factors. True Elements translates that complexity into easy-to-understand scores and visualizations. True Elements’ True Qi drinking water scores help public leaders and residents understand drinking water quality so collective action can be taken to address watershed challenges, prioritize action and ensure a healthy water future for current and future generations.


Collective action to improve and maintain water quality in watersheds works.

Take the Chesapeake Bay as an example. The bay was one of the most impaired watersheds in the U.S., but thanks to collective action to restore the health of streams and rivers that flow into the bay, drinking water quality has improved for 18 million residents who rely on the bay, and the health of the bay itself is returning. Efforts like these are gaining momentum as more people understand watersheds and take the initiative to get involved. You can read more about Chesapeake Bay restoration progress here.

Constituent participation is particularly valuable where water data is scarce. In a recent GovTech article, Stephen Goldsmith describes how the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) created a successful Water Watch program to improve data collection and increase the speed of information sharing. Led by Senior Scientist Meghan Smart, ADEQ’s Water Watch program created a network of resident scientists who fill in data gaps and record observations on water quality. This is a notable example of how constituents and government leaders can come together for a common and worthy cause.

It's not just governments and communities that are becoming aware of the importance of our shared water resources. Notable water leader Will Sarni recently posted about the concept of catalytic communities where, besides working with nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that support watershed health, multinational corporations are expanding partnerships to other stakeholder groups including entrepreneurs and investors. “Neither corporations nor governments alone can find solutions to society’s most pressing problems,” Sarni says.

When it comes to ensuring high water quality in our shared watersheds — which supports high-quality drinking water in our homes and offices — we must all come together. For more information, here is a USDA guide on how to manage watershed health as a collective imperative and an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guide for the same.


Given that 90 percent of climate change impacts involve water-related disasters such as droughts, floods and storms, awareness is increasing that the climate crisis is really a water crisis. The importance of watersheds and the need for collective action is clear.

Evidence of this new awareness abounds:

As the world sharpens its attention on water, it is more important than ever to understand the water and watersheds that we rely on and to take collective action to ensure a resilient water future for generations to come.


True Elements applies a unique combination of sophisticated scientific analysis and patent-pending artificial intelligence capabilities to multiple layers of watershed data to produce deeper, clearer and more holistic insights into watershed dynamics and water quality and quantity.

We create easy-to-interpret visualizations and True Qi scores to provide clear quality metrics of drinking water down to the ZIP code level.* This helps residents understand the quality of their drinking water and helps government, policy and regulatory leaders make more informed decisions for their constituents.

Please note that the drinking water data used to calculate True Qi drinking water scores indicates whether water meets safe drinking water standards set by the EPA.

Click on the map above to access True Qi drinking water scores in your area or anywhere in the U.S.

Click here for a brief video demonstrating how to find a True Qi drinking water score for your specific location.

*See “What You Should Know About Drinking Water Quality” for frequently asked questions and answers.

For more information about True Elements or True Qi drinking water scores, please contact us.
True Elements transforms water and data complexity into clear, easy to understand insights for fully informed, effective decision making.
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