In previous situations, the City would release information about emergency issues on our website and through our social media channels. These tools, while great, were not adequate to help to tell the story of the water emergency we were facing. Once we were hit with the October emergency, we had to quickly come up with a better way to illustrate the necessity for our residents to cut their water use.
I turned to Google Fusion Tables to show in real-time the state of the emergency. We entered data from the water treatment plant, such as the level of the lake and the amount of rainfall, into a Google Fusion Table every morning. The table then automatically turned the data into compelling graphs and charts that were embedded on every page of our website. The visuals communicated the severity of the situation to our citizens better than text ever could.
Our city's water consumption dropped 50 percent immediately, and our lake went from being just 10 feet shy of running out of water to completely full in less than six months.
Not only has Google Fusion Tables helped communicate how our community uses water, but it helped get our city through a state of emergency.