Image: A data logger records snow depth, air temperature, humidity, soil moisture, and other measurements, part of the sensor networks deployed at SSCZO sites. This technology has been adopted by hydrologic observatories across California. [Click image to enlarge]
As part of World Water Day, the White House is hosting a Water Summit today and released its Commitments to Action on Building a Sustainable Water Future. As part of the call to action, the University of California Water Security and Sustainability Research Initiative (UC Water) is pledging to develop "an integrated water-accounting system... a new basis for managing groundwater by using a novel combination of conventional groundwater-level data and modeling tools".
UC Water is uniting snow, surface water, and groundwater, and part of this integration is relying on sensor technologies developed by Southern Sierra Critical Zone Observatory (SSCZO) researchers. SSCZO pioneered a network of instrument clusters monitoring snow depth, air temperature, relative humidity, and other environmental measurements in the Kings River watershed. This technology has been adopted by several other hydrologic observatories in California, including in the American and Consumnes Rivers watersheds where UC Water is testing its water-accounting process.
The tools that UC Water develops will be disseminated to water managers in California by 2017. The research initiative includes four SSCZO researchers: Roger Bales, Martha Conklin, Steven Glaser, and Mohammad Safeeq. Learn more about UC Water by visiting ucwater.org.
Written by Michelle Gilmore
Hundreds of instruments and sensors have been deployed in the primary SSCZO research site of the Providence Creek watershed as well as in Wolverton basin. Additional SSCZO flux towers and instruments have also been installed at the San Joaquin Experimental Range, Soaproot Saddle, and Short Hair Creek.
Explore more photos of the intstuments and sensors used by SSCZO.
Within the headwaters of the P301 catchment is a series of montane meadows. The P301 water balance transect is comprised of monitoring wells, piezometers, soil sensors, and meteorological sensors.
A photo gallery of the P301 water balance transect can be found here.