Great Stories: Water Resource Management in California with OmniEarth and Hexagon Geospatial Technologies

What will your story be? This is the question attendees are asked to think about while participating in HxGN Live. Many of us have worked with Hexagon technologies for many years, while others are just beginning to write their stories. I’d like to share one of OmniEarth’s stories with you.

It’s hard to read the news in the United States without hearing mention of the severe drought in the state of California. Water management agencies and the state government are working hard to find solutions to manage this new reality. Some of these solutions include setting water conservation goals, which require water districts to reduce their region’s water consumption by as much as 36% in the next year.

Many water districts are unsure how to meet their mandated conservation goal, especially since each water consumer has different water consumption needs. Examples of this may include consumers with large landscaped areas versus users who live in an apartment. Additionally, water consumers in the district may already have implemented conservation methods, such as not watering their lawn, yet they cannot reduce their consumption any more.

OmniEarth created a solution on their analytics platform using ERDAS Imagine and Apollo to help water districts identify high water consumers by creating a “water budget” for each property in a district. The water budget measures how much water a given property should be using based on the type of property, the landscape on the property and daily weather information. The water budget is then compared to the water consumer’s billed consumption, allowing the water district to see which consumers are using more than the expected amount of water. Water districts can then focus their conservation efforts on these high water consumers to have the greatest impact on their mandated conservation goals.

By using Hexagon technologies, OmniEarth’s analysts are able to create accurate, repeatable, and scalable models to deliver quick results to help water districts meet their conservation goals. The variety of tools available in ERDAS Imagine means that OmniEarth did not have to reinvent the wheel to implement image analysis functions, but instead could focus on creating customised analytics to solve a complex problem.

California is only the beginning of OmniEarth’s story. Many of these analysis methods can be applied globally to solve similar problems around the world. Additionally, OmniEarth will be launching an 18-satellite constellation in 2018 to provide daily imaging of the earth’s surface. Hexagon and OmniEarth have partnered together to make this large volume of content available to users of the Hexagon platform, enabling the next generation of stories to be written with Hexagon technologies.


Kristin Lavigne
Sr. Geospatial Analytics Architect, OmniEarth

Blogger Profile:

Kristin Lavigne works as the Sr. Geospatial Analystics Architect at OmniEarth. Kristin’s specialties include development of custom analysis algorithms for use in the utility space, integration of disparate datasets, open source web development with maps APIs, and secure management of large data sets both offline and in the cloud. Kristin holds a B.A. from Clark University in Geography and an M.S. from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst in Geosciences.

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