Water Availability and Use Projects

Kyler Connolly and Chris Dennison at weather tower

Predicting Extreme Rainfall in the Copeland Creek Watershed

2014-15

California’s highly variable climate and growing water demands pose water-supply and flood-hazard challenges to resource managers. Mathematics students are using local data sets, including data from the weather station at SSU's Osborn Preserve and UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory to evaluate the ability of regional models to predict rainfall in our region.

  • Faculty: Martha Shott, Ben Ford, Sunil Tiware (Mathematics and Statistics), Chris Halle (Consultant)
  • Partners: City of Rohnert Park, SSU Preserves, SCWA

Kyler Connolly and Chris Dennison at weather tower

Automated Weather Station for Copeland Creek Headwaters

2013-14

An automated weather station was installed at SSU Osborn Preserve to provide reliable real-time data on the amount of rainfall and other climate variables in the upper watershed. The data will be used to better understand relationships between rainfall and flooding in the lower watershed.

  • Faculty: Farid Farahmand (Engineering Science), Daniel Soto (Environmental Studies and Planning)
  • Partners: SSU Preserves, City of Rohnert Park
Kyler Connolly and Chris Dennison at weather tower

Power Supply Needs for Off-Grid Sensor Network in the Headwaters of Copeland Creek

2014

The Osborn Sensor Network collects and transmits data from sensors in the Copeland Creek headwatershed. Power needs for newtwork sensors (e.g., weather station, cameras, etc.) must be evaluated to determine the appropriate solar and battery requirements to ensure continuous data streaming. We evaluated the power needs (solar panels and 24V DC batteries) for an offgrid, lowpower wireless camera to be installed overlooking water sources on the Fairfield Osborn Preserve.

  • Faculty: Dan Soto (Environmental Studies and Planning)
  • Partners: SSU Preserves
Kyler Connolly and Chris Dennison at weather tower

Geodatabase for Sharing Copeland Creek Watershed Data

2013-14

We developed a geodatabase to enhance sharing of data in the Copeland Creek watershed. The Google Map product uses fusion tables to create a clickable data-discovery interface. Users can click on location icons to identify the types of data collected, when they were collected and by whom. When possible, links are provided to on-line data.

  • Faculty: Jeff Baldwin (Geography)
Sencell circuit board

SenCell: A Low-Cost Cellular-Based General-Purpose Real-Time Monitoring System for Rural Areas

2013-14

We created a low-cost, solar-powered, general-purpose remote monitoring system with unique features such as open-source software and in-field configurability.The unit can collect and transmit data from sensors in any location where cell-reception is available. The flexible and modular SenCell architecture allows it to be used for diverse applications, including flood and fire detection, and real-time water quality and air pollution monitoring.

  • Faculty/Staff: Farid Farahmand, Jack Ou and Shahram Marivani (Engineering Science)
  • Partners: Steve Norwick Memorial Fund, CSU Campus as a Living Lab

Low-Cost Irrigation Control Sensors (Smarden Project)

2013-14

We designed a low-cost autonomous garden sensor that can monitor environmental conditions (temperature, humidity, sunlight, and soil moisture) and respond by turning irrigation systems on or off. The system has potential to conserve water use by home gardeners, farmers, or wine growers.

  • Faculty: Farid Farahmand (Engineering Science)
  • Partners: CSU Campus as a Living Lab Grant Program, Steve Norwick Memorial Fund

Development of an Ultrasonic Sensor to Monitor Water Use

2013-14

Monitoring water levels in a tank has always required a physical object of measurement to be submerged and often requires visiting the tank to check levels. We developed a low-cost ultrasonic depth sensor that accurately measures the depth of fluids (water, cooking oil, motor oil) up to four meters and displays the values on a monitor. 

  • Faculty: Farid Farahmand (Engineering Science)
  • Partners: Santa Rosa Junior College, Steve Norwick Memorial Fund, Campus as a Living Lab Grant Program
evapotranspiration diagram

Copeland Creek Watershed Evapotranspiration Project

2012

Evapotranspiration is an important but variable part of the water cycle. To better understand water cycle dynamics in the Copeland Creek watershed, a student research team constructed and installed a sensor network to continuously monitor environmental conditions and tree water loss in the headwaters at the Fairfield Osborn Preserve.

  • Faculty: Tom Buckley (Biology)