Past Events:

Data for Lunch w/OpenET

Apr 29 2021

Thursday, April 29, 2021 from 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM (PDT)

Hosted By:
California Water Data Consortium

The California Water Data Consortium is a nonprofit organization that supports data-informed decision-making in California about water in the face of climate change and other pressures on water resources. We amplify efforts to improve water data infrastructure by creating a neutral organizational space to build trust and facilitate collaboration across sectors.

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Event Details:

The California Water Data Consortium is proud to host a presentation by Dr. Robyn Grimm and Forrest Melton from OpenET.

Data for Lunch Series

This event is part of the Consortium’s Data for Lunch series, which provides an opportunity to learn about innovative water data-related projects.

Date: April 29th from 12 – 1:00 pm, with additional Q&A from 1-1:30pm

Presenters: Dr. Robyn Grimm and Forrest Melton

Meeting Agenda

  • Welcome and introduction (10 mins)
  • Presentation by Dr. Robyn Grimm and Forrest Melton (30 mins)
  • Facilitated discussion (15 mins)
  • Additional Q&A time (30 mins)

Project Summary

Sustainable water management is one of the most challenging issues of our time, especially in the arid western U.S. Maximizing the benefits of water supplies requires careful measurement of availability and use. However, one important information gap is compounding this challenge: the lack of consistent consumptive water use data for irrigated agriculture and other vegetated landscapes. To date, access to this data has been limited and expensive, keeping it out of the hands of most water users and decision-makers who could really benefit from its use. OpenET aims to change this and support sustainable water management and innovation in water conservation with an online platform for mapping evapotranspiration (ET) at the scale of individual fields. OpenET uses best available science and publicly available data to increase access to satellite-based ET and consumptive water use information for farmers and water managers. This talk will provide an introduction to the OpenET platform and the approach taken to its development, and demonstrate a few of its applications.


Dr. Robyn Grimm serves as OpenET Project Manager and leads on the ground implementation with project partners, coordination among project teams, and development of key reports and publications. Robyn has over 10 years of experience working with large and diverse teams on statewide water management and policy, including levee policy for the Sacramento San Joaquin Delta, multi-objective management for the Yolo Bypass and other Central Valley floodplains, and financing for water management in California. She has expertise in multi-benefit decision support and analysis, and in operations and systems research, including multi-objective optimization and trade-off analysis. (PhD, Hydrologic Sciences, University of California, Davis; MA, Physical Geography, University of California, Davis; BA, Economics and Political Science, University of California, Los Angeles)

Forrest Melton is a Senior Research Scientist with the NASA Ames Cooperative for Research in Earth Science and Technology (ARC-CREST) and with California State University, Monterey Bay. Forrest currently serves as the Program Scientist for the NASA Western Water Applications Office, and as an Associate Program Manager for Water Resources with the NASA Applied Sciences Program. Since 2003, he has worked in the Biospheric Sciences Branch at NASA Ames Research Center on the development of modeling and data assimilation frameworks including the Satellite Irrigation Management Support (SIMS) system, the Terrestrial Observation and Prediction System (TOPS), the NASA Earth Exchange (NEX) and OpenET. His research interests include applications of satellite data to improve management of natural resources, remote sensing of evapotranspiration and agricultural water requirements, and ecosystem and carbon cycle modeling. Forrest holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Earth Systems Science from Stanford University, and has authored over fifty papers and book chapters on applications of remote sensing. He is the recipient of honor awards from NASA for his contributions to TOPS and NEX, and has been recognized for his work on applications of satellite data for water management with awards from the California Department of Water Resources, the Federal Labs Consortium and NASA.

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