How Data Is Making California’s Water Wars Worse

An Explosion of Information May Allow Californians to Track—and Fight About—Every Drop

If you thought California’s famously bitter water wars were hard-fought, just wait until you see our water data wars.

Californians fight over water because we all need it and there is rarely enough to satisfy the full needs of many competing interests—farmers and fishermen, environmentalists and industry, state and local water agencies, and, of course, residents. In this way, California water history mirrors that of the entire state: Californians’ desires always outstrip our abundance, and we never stop battling over how to divide things up.

Now, digital tools are expanding the …

More In: Big Data

In California, Big Data Is Getting the Wrong People Arrested

Blame the Software—and a Lack of Incentives to Check for Errors

Managing information is central to the criminal justice system, and so it’s inevitable that mistakes happen. Names get confused, files lost. When these errors occur, the police can mistakenly arrest …

Why Artificial Intelligence Won’t Replace CEOs

An MBA’s Instinct Is Increasingly Vital in the Age of Information Overload

Peter Drucker was prescient about most things, but the computer wasn’t one of them. “The computer … is a moron,” the management guru asserted in a McKinsey Quarterly article in …

How Big Data Can Make Us Less Racist

Computing Power Can Help Us Make More Efficient Decisions About Who is Friend or Foe

Donald Trump wants to ban all Muslims from entering the United States and has called for a wall to keep out Mexicans, whom he has called rapists and criminals. Many …

Why Big Data Isn’t So Bad

Privacy Issues Aside, Gathering Information Can Help Improve Health, Learning, and Living

Big data gets a bad rap.

While stories show up practically every day about the novel and sometimes surprising ways Internet companies can use the massive amounts of data they …

Will We Have Any Privacy After the Big Data Revolution?

Corporations Know More about Their Customers’ Lives Than Ever Before. But the Information Economy Doesn’t Have to Leave Us Exposed.

Does the rise of big data mean the downfall of privacy? Mobile technologies now allow companies to map our every physical move, while our online activity is tracked click by …