Water, water…nowhere

I was reading the LA Times yesterday, and there was an interesting story about how difficult it has been for the state of California to accurately measure the amount of water that is consumed. Earlier this year, the state mandate a 20% reduction in water consumption as a target. Sounds easy enough to measure, right? Well, that would require water meters, which apparently is a technology that is not yet implemented in some crucial parts of the state such as parts of the Central Valley, Sacramento and Fresno.

Anyway, if you’re still reading, you’re probably wondering what this has to do with imagery and raster in ArcGIS. You can measure the amount of groundwater that has been displaced using satellites. There is a tandem mission, called Grace, that is two satellites that measure the earth’s gravitational pull which is either caused by massive movements in the earth’s mass (i.e an earthquake) or from water that is being pulled out of the ground. Here’s the latest image, that shows anomalies in gravitational pull for the U.S.gravitational pull US

And to provide context, here’s what it looks like for the world.

gravitational pull world

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4 Comments

  1. ccardona says:

    Kevin, this is a very interesting map. How can I make the interpretation of this result? what each color means?

  2. raj_philly says:

    Great article, Kevin! Loved the reference. Just to confirm the blue means less and red means high displacement, correct?

  3. hglaser says:

    This fits with the finding that 75% of water removed from the Colorado river basin has been from groundwater.
    I wonder how much groundwater needs to be removed to dry up the colorado?