Water Wizards | Where's the Water?


The Challenge | Where's the Water?

Use satellite and other data to allow farmers, landowners, and land managers in your locale to identify and visualize water resources in their surroundings.

Water Wizard

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Monitoring groundwater changes through satellite technology.

Water Wizards

Our goal is to monitor groundwater changes using satellite technology. By measuring the surface movement it is possible to have information about changes in the underground aquifer.

An important application of our product is the efficient planning of quick wildfire fighting. By monitoring groundwater, it is possible to strategically place wells in areas at risk of fire. This way, firefighters will have larger and faster access to water, dramatically reducing both response time and duration of the fire. A quick response is of paramount importance in reducing the damage and the spread of the fire. Moreover, the average duration of wildfires has increased 4 times (in the U.S.A., from 7 to 30 days) in the last decade. Knowledge of large and distributed water aquifers will help to invert this recent trend.

GRACE and GOCE data can be used to have low resolution monitoring (in the order of hundreds of km) by analysing temporal changes in the gravity field. Such changes can then be translated into surface movement (in centimeters) and then in changes in water content. Interferometric SAR can give higher resolution (20 m) after processing data from Sentinel-1, with a repeat cycle of 14 days. Uncertainty in the processed data is of 1 cm.

Our customers would be land owners, both private and public. With such a service, their properties would be less at risk. This would translate also in lower insurance costs. Our partners include satellite data providers (ESA, NASA), well data provider (USGS), as well as drilling companies.

The service are provided via our central data servers and distributed through a desktop application GUI (client) that can provide data and information directly to the customer.

Scientific data resources: - Sentinel-1 data; GRACE data; GOCE data; USGS; NIFC; NOAA; NASA JPL; ESA; Reeves et al. "High Quality InSAR data linked to seasonal changes in hydraulic head for an agricultural area in the San Luis Valley, Colorado." In Water Resources Research, 2014.


SpaceApps is a NASA incubator innovation program.