West to get new high resolution ET data platform


“The implications are tremendous,” said Andrew McElrone, professor and research plant physiologist at the University of California-Davis. “This will impact growing decisions, water usage, water rights and trading.”

That’s a quote from this article in Capital Press last week. McElrone is referring to OpenET—an initiative to provide publicly accessible, continuously updated, satellite-based evapotranspiration (ET) estimates for 17 states. The platform—launching 2021—targets the agriculture sector; crop growers will supposedly be able to use the ET estimates to optimize growing decisions and increase water efficiency.

ET affects crop water use as well as the overall water balance in a catchment, so these data will be a boon for hydrological model developers, too. Spatial resolution will be a super-fine 30m. It’s a mouthwatering prospect for water data lovers.

The project involves NASA, the Environmental Defense Fund, Google, the Desert Research Institute, and the Global Water Security and Sanitation Partnership. You can sign up for updates on their website: https://etdata.org