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IBM Aims to Help Alleviate Water Shortages in Northern California's Wine Country

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Uploaded on Jun 24, 2010

From aging infrastructure to population growth to climate change, California's strained water supply faces a complex set of challenges and demands that threaten the future of the state's population, economy and environment. According to the California Department of Water Resources, the state has experienced below average precipitation and runoff since the fall of 2006, making this the fourth year of serious drought. Recently, California's governor set forth a statewide goal for all water agencies to reach a 20 percent reduction in water use by the year 2020.

Now, IBM and the Sonoma County Water Agency, which supplies water to more than 600,000 people, are tackling the water crisis head on in the heart of Northern California's wine country.

By bringing together and analyzing data including water usage and quality, weather and climate, and environmental considerations, IBM's sophisticated water management system is helping SCWA make better decisions about resource allocation dynamically based on near real-time information. Central to SCWA's water infrastructure, which also includes the world's largest river bank filtration system, transmission pipelines and supplemental groundwater, is the Russian River. The river, a popular a tourist destination, provides the primary source of water in the region and is also used for water conveyance. The delicate ecosystem along the river -- which includes endangered and threatened salmon and steelhead -- combined with the seasonal irrigation requirements of agriculture and the recreation needs of kayakers, canoeists and anglers, add to the unique challenges for water management in the region.

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