“Rain, rain go away, come again another day,” is a familiar tune. But it’s not being sung in California. On the west coast, we’re excited for the next few rainy days, despite how much we love to drive in wet weather. Last year was the driest year California has seen in 119 years and so far, 2014 has not seen much improvement. This latest weather system will do little to solve the crisis. Rather than wait on mother nature, ……
On February 25th, NASA announced its partnership with the California Department of Water Resources to develop and apply new technology and products to better manage and monitor the state's water resources and respond to its ongoing drought.
Along with the likes of major government players, citizen activist groups are also trying to ease California’s water woes. Hack the Drought is a hackathon combined with a project-based approach to providing real solutions to some of the most pressing problems facing water officials, farmers, and citizens. Meetup groups have been established in Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, Las Vegas and San Francisco.
Then, there are the water technology startups generating newfound buzz, along with competitions and accelerators that help to put them in the spotlight. One such organization is San Francisco-based Imagine H2O, a nonprofit whose vision is to turn water challenges into opportunities. Founded in 2007, Imagine H2O runs an annual water technology startup competition and accelerator program that offers the winners cash and opportunities to run pilot projects with water utilities, government and social enterprise.
California’s evolving drought is devastating for farmers and the communities that support them, and the effects are spreading well beyond California’s borders. But where there is a problem, there is opportunity. Let’s hope that the renewed interest in water conservation, and the innovative technologies that have been created as a result bring about positive change that will last for years to come.