On Wednesday, May 5, Robyn Grimm, Senior Manager, Water Information Systems, Environmental Defense Fund - Western Water Program, presented a WRRC Brown Bag webinar titled, “OpenET – Filling One of the Biggest Data Gaps in Water Management.” The term evapotranspiration (ET) refers to the amount of water evaporated or consumed by crops and other vegetation. ET is also referred to as a consumptive use; that is, water that is removed from the available supply as it is used. Consumptive water use for irrigated agriculture accounts for the majority of water use in the Western US. The OpenET platform was developed in collaboration with the Environmental Defense Fund, Google Earth Engine, NASA, and the Desert Research Institute to provide consistent data on evapotranspiration on US agricultural lands to inform water management decisions. The OpenET data pulls from public meteorological and satellite data stored and updated daily on the Google Earth Engine, which are then used to create models. In the presentation, Grimm provided a demonstration of how the platform's user interface is used to access total consumptive use estimates for a specific agricultural region (down to a 30x30 meter plot). Currently, up to five 5 years of data is available. The OpenET platform has many applications for water users, including the development of more accurate water budgets or incentives for conservation. OpenET Platform
Robyn Grimm serves as Senior Manager of Water Information Systems for Environmental Defense Fund's Western Water Program. She co-leads the OpenET project with partners from NASA, DRI, and HabitatSeven, 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 water management and policy. She has expertise in multi-benefit decision support and analysis, and operations and systems research, including multi-objective optimization and trade-off analysis. Robyn has a PhD in Hydrologic Sciences and an MA in Physical Geography from University of California, Davis. She earned her BA in Economics and Political Science from University of California, Los Angeles.