IBM Project Addresses Drought Problems

SANTA ROSA, Calif., June 24 (UPI) — IBM and Northern California officials say they’re joining forces to address the increasingly serious problem of water management in the state’s wine country.

Officials of the Sonoma County Water Agency, which supplies water to more than 600,000 people, are teaming with IBM to help manage a dwindling water supply they say threatens the future of the area’s population, economy and environment.

California has experienced below-average precipitation since fall 2006.

IBM said the project involves generating and analyzing scientific data involving water usage and quality, weather and climate, as well as environmental considerations.

Sharon Nunes, vice president of IBM’s “Big Green Innovations” project, said the idea is to create a near real-time operating picture of the Russian River — the area’s primary source of water — and the associated water transmission system.

“The ability to track and measure the water flow along with the diverse elements that impact the system at such a (basic) level arms SCWA and its stakeholders with a way to work together toward the common goal of ensuring adequate water for the region, now and for years to come,” Nunes said.

SCWA Chief Engineer Jay Jasperse added: “By effectively managing every drop of water in our system we can ensure that we can meet the needs of people, the environment and the community. By better utilizing our current resources we reduce the need for big, expensive infrastructure projects.”

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