Snowpack Sensor project gets funded

Snowpack Sensor project gets funded

A four year project was recently funded by the National Science Foundation to the tune of $2 million dollars to be used tracking the Sierra snowpack as the climate changes using wireless sensor technology.

More than half of the water used in California for everyday use comes from the Sierra Nevada runoff and being able to track snowfall and provide better runoff predictions could be extremely useful from a management perspective.  An example of this is the benefits of alerting farmers of water allocation needs ahead of time allowing for more accurate crop planting and resource consumption and leading to additional revenue for the state.

The research is being done through the University of California at Merced by Roger Bales with help from UC Berkeley and the UC's Center for Information Technology Research.  Although the idea of remote sensors isn’t entirely new to the state (snow survey currently use 125 automatic sensors across all of the Sierra) their first prototype project is adding more accuracy by logging the data in a basin from over 300 sensors covering more than 1 square kilometer in the southern Sierra. The next phase will see the establishment of about 25 clusters of instruments in the American River basin, which covers about 4,500 square kilometers above Folsom Dam and which contains a large fraction of California's water. 

Learn more about the project at: https://snri.ucmerced.edu/snri

Via: UC


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