Keeping Water on the Radar


Machine learning to aid in essential water cycle measurement

Department of Computer Science assistant professor Chris Heckman and CIRES research hydrologist Toby Minear have been awarded a Grand Challenge Research & Innovation Seed Grant to create an instrument that could revolutionize our understanding of the amount of water in our rivers, lakes, wetlands and coastal areas by greatly increasing the places where we measure it.

The new low-cost instrument would use radar and machine learning to quickly and safely measure water levels in a variety of scenarios.

This work could prove vital as the USDA recently proclaimed the entire state of Colorado to be a "primary natural disaster area" due to an ongoing drought that has made the American West potentially the driest it has been in over a millennium. Other climate records across the globe also continue to be broken, year after year. Our understanding of the changing water cycle has never been more essential at a local, national and global level.

Continue reading at University of Colorado Boulder

Image via Pixabay, CC0 Creative Commons