#INNOVATOR INTERVIEW: Dr. Justin Huntington of MapWater
How did MapWater come into being?
Water and agriculture in the western U.S. are multi-billion dollar resources that are central to the regional economy and future development. An important component of water development, management, and sustainability in the western U.S. is a detailed accounting of historical and current water use from irrigated agriculture. There is a great need for accurate, defensible, and timely maps of water use that are summarized on a field-by-field basis–the spatial scale at which water rights are managed. MapWater is a new company founded by researchers at the Desert #Research Institute that provides satellite-based field scale water use and vegetation vigor products using multiple NASA and non-NASA earth observation platforms and spatial data-sets. These products can be used by water and natural resource agencies to support day-to-day decision making, long-term water resource planning and management, hydrologic studies, and obligations for water governance and interstate agreements.
Why do you do what you do?
Helping to better manage and protect natural resources using new satellite and cloud computing #technology is quite exciting and inspirational. Just a few years ago making field-scale water use and vegetation vigor maps was very labor intensive and expensive. Now days we can make maps in seconds compared to days or weeks.
What was the most exciting development for you in 2016?
The use of cloud computing to quickly make maps and data summaries that are easily assessible to end users via a web browser.
What lies ahead for 2017?
We are working with several government and NGOs to develop products that best suit their needs.
How has your experience at Adams Hub contributed to your success?
Contact Dr. Huntington at JustinH@#dri.edu