Watching Where the Water Goes

Monitoring how much water is diverted from rivers and pumped from wells is notoriously difficult. But now, researchers have developed a new way to track usage.

"[A] tool developed by the Idaho Department of Water Resources and the University of Idaho is changing the face of water management and conservation by efficiently offering specific measurements of the water consumed across a large region or single field.

Using surface temperature readings from government satellites, air temperature and a system of algorithms, the new method lets officials measure how much water is "consumed" on a certain piece of land through evapotranspiration. Evapotranspiration is a combination of the evaporation of water into the atmosphere and the water vapor released by plants through respiration -- basically, a measurement of the water that leaves the land for the atmosphere, not water that is diverted or pumped onto land but then returned quickly to the water table or river for other users."

By monitoring how much water is naturally reclaimed by the system, researchers can extrapolate how much is being diverted or otherwise used.

Full Story: Water Measured From the Sky

Comments

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
AICP CTP Storefont Display

The first online AICP* CTP exam prep class

Are you ready to take the AICP* Certified Transportation Planner exam?
Priced at $245 for May exam!
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $16.95 a month

Essential Readings in Urban Planning

Planning on taking the AICP* Exam? Register for Planetizen's AICP * Exam Preparation Course to save $50.
$369 includes free shipping!