UC Merced Researchers to use Big Data to tackle California Water Crisis!

California which once envied as one of the most beautiful states in America is experiencing severe drought conditions from the past four years due to lack of sufficient rain. Climatic researchers have already labeled the water crisis in California as one of the worst droughts of this century on a global note.

With Governor Jerry Brown imposing mandatory water restrictions on residents, the state’s staggeringly complex water woes have taken the sheen off at least some of the Californian dreams.

But researchers from UC Water Security and Sustainability Research Initiative led by UC Merced Professors Roger Bales and Joshua Viers have found out a way to tackle water crisis in California.

The researchers from UC Merced are using Big Data to integrate information on headwaters and groundwater to see how changes affect the downstream groundwater. This big data enabled research is said to provide info and offer ideas that could be implemented by resource managers for a more secure water future for the state if necessary all around the nation.

By gathering data from different resources, the researchers can know where the water is, and where and how much water is needed.

By doing so Roger Bales and his colleagues hope to help put the state’s water and how it’s managed on a sustainable path.

According to the study carried out so far on the available big data, the causes of California’s water crisis are many, from lack of naturally occurring snowpack in Sierra Nevada and drained underground levels. In fact, an estimated 60 percent of the water stored in California’s reservoirs — many of which are under capacity or empty — comes from the snowpack that (ideally) accumulates each winter and becomes runoff in the spring and summer. Also lack of sufficient rains and El Nino effect due to global warming is also taking a toll.

Big data research conducted by UC Merced has also concluded that multitude of technological and political solutions are also paving way to California water crisis.

Roger Bales who is also a director of the Sierra Nevada Research Institute said that thinning of forests of thirsty younger trees and undergrowth could free up runoff to replenish underground aquifers.

More details will be updated shortly. And in the meantime, let’s hope that the scientific big data like that being researched by UC Merced researchers will ultimately provide a means to a more sustainable future.


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