The Value of Sharing and Consolidating Critical Community, Electricity, and Natural Hazard Information
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) sought support for the development of database schema specifications for a bi-directional data portal that would foster cross-jurisdictional collaboration necessary to improve resilient energy infrastructure planning processes. This technical assistance activity involved Berkeley Lab researchers reviewing 34 local/tribal government hazard mitigation plans to assess (1) the natural hazards that communities are most concerned about; (2) the variety of–and terminology used to describe–critical community infrastructure; and (3) the availability of GIS information that could be incorporated into CPUC-mandated "Microgrid Planning Portals". In addition, we develop a common, but generic data taxonomy showing what fields to collect to encourage consolidating and sharing of this information in the future. Finally, we partnered with the Bishop Paiute tribal government to demonstrate the value of combining electricity infrastructure, natural hazard layers, and critical community infrastructure into a series of maps. The project demonstrated that a single system containing both electric utility and community infrastructure data—as well as information about natural hazards—will help the state of California, the IOUs, first responders, and long-term planners better prepare for—and thus lower their exposure to these ongoing and emerging hazards. The project also identified a number of challenges that will need to be overcome before it is possible to stand up a single system to display this information.