Water Supplies & Services

Here's Why Water in the West Goes from Drought to Deluge

Mother Jones

Jerry Brown declared over on April 7--this winter's record-breaking wet weather has recharged surface water supplies across California: By the end of February, reservoirs in about 80 percent of the state's river basins were above historical average capacity. This year's plentiful precipitation is pushing water-forecasting models to their limits as analysts predict summer water supply based on winter rain and snowfall amounts outside historical norms. The late March or early April California snowpack reading is crucial for the managers that allocate water to irrigation districts and customers downstream of Trinity Lake, the third largest reservoir in the state, says Donald Bader, manager of the Northern California Area Office of the Bureau of Reclamation, which manages about a dozen California reservoirs. Blue Mesa, for example, the largest reservoir in Colorado, was at 69 percent capacity by the end of March; that's 126 percent of the historical average for that time of year.

[Report] Giant viruses with an expanded complement of translation system components


Some giant viruses encode a genome larger than that of some bacteria, but their evolutionary history is a mystery. Examining the genomes within a sample from a wastewater treatment plant in Austria, Schulz et al. assembled a previously undiscovered giant virus genome, which they used to mine genetic databases for related viruses. The authors thus identified a group of giant viruses with more genes encoding components of the protein translation machinery, including aminoacyl transfer RNA synthetases, than in other giant viruses.

4 questions with Rush CIO Dr. Shafiq Rab


Dr. Shafiq Rab, CIO of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, uses his background in public health to inform his IT vision. For almost 20 years, he has served as a healthcare CIO at institutions like Hackensack (N.J.) University Health Network; Greater Hudson Valley Health System in Middletown, N.Y.; and St. Mary's Hospital in Passaic, N.J. In January, Dr. Rab brought his public health and IT expertise to Chicago after being named CIO and senior vice president of Rush University Medical Center. Question: How does your commitment to public health impact your work as a CIO?

Smart Water: EMAGIN is Using Artificial Intelligence to Make Managing Water Utilities and Industries Safer and Greener


By combining artificial intelligence with water utilities and industries, EMAGIN wants to shift the paradigm from reacting manually to proactively controlling how water utilities are operated and managed. EMAGIN's innovative, artificial intelligence-driven optimization and analytics platform is the Hybrid Adaptive Real-Time Virtual Intelligence, or HARVI. With HARVI, EMAGIN wants to leverage artificial intelligence to create an intelligent water system that connects to its natural and built environment. "It's an honour to be ranked one the top data-driven startups globally in the water sector," reveals Mohamad.

Immobots Take Control

AITopics Original Links

"There are lots of systems in the world that have sensors and actuators, but don't look like traditional mobile robots," says Brian Williams, a former NASA researcher who coinvented Deep Space One's autonomous software and is now a professor at MIT's Space Systems and Artificial Intelligence Laboratories. Once programmed with immobotic software, Williams explains, these systems "have a commonsense model of the physics of their internal components and can reason from that model to determine what is wrong and to know how to act." But in truth, the stuck power switch wasn't an authentic crisis: ground controllers deliberately misled the craft's control software so they could see how Remote Agent, the system developed by Williams and his NASA colleagues, would respond. That's why engineers at Xerox and its recently spun-off Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) have begun to build immobot intelligence into high-end copy machines.

How Big Data and the Internet of Things Create Smart Cities


For example, in Porto, sensors tell the city's waste management department when dumpsters are full, so they don't waste time, man hours, or fuel emptying containers that are only partly full. The city is partnering with Cisco to test other technologies, including home appliances and utilities controlled by your smartphone, and even a tracking system for children (using microchips implanted in bracelets). For example, in Porto, sensors tell the city's waste management department when dumpsters are full, so they don't waste time, man hours, or fuel emptying containers that are only partly full. The city is partnering with Cisco to test other technologies, including home appliances and utilities controlled by your smartphone, and even a tracking system for children (using microchips implanted in bracelets).

DataOps, Monetization, and the Rise of the Data Broker: Questioning Authority with Tamr CEO Andy Palmer


In 2013, he and Stonebraker moved up the data value chain and founded Tamr, the Cambridge, MA-based software company aiming to provide a unified view of data in the modern enterprise. Those enterprise data sources should be managed and organized similarly to how search engines crawl and organize the modern world-wide web. From brokering that data internally to business units that want to run analytics, it's a logical extension to monetize data by selling it outside the company. TW: If I'm an enterprise customer, what criteria should I take into account as I look to adopt data integration, machine-learning, data self-service technologies?

Why do we fall for false positives even though they're common?

New Scientist

There is no official expected false positive rate for the test, largely because accuracy can vary depending on who is using it, and how they administer it. Police forces aren't the only people prone to picking up false positives – doctors have a real problem with them too. One study has found that doctors often underestimate the likelihood of getting a false positive result during breast cancer screening. The growing realisation that the majority of "positive" results found in cancer screening are in fact false alarms, has resulted in claims that broad cancer screening is unethical and should be scrapped.

IBM's Watson Uses Machine Learning To Tackle Water Data


Watson, a machine learning system, became a household name when it managed to outdo some formidable Jeopardy contestants. Tom Ash of the Inland Empire Water Utilities Agency, a waste treatment agency and wholesale water distributor serving customers near Los Angeles, discussed the benefits of this approach. The engineering firm Black & Veatch cited the potential for data to improve water utility operations in its most recent report on the state of the industry. There are "opportunities to deploy technology in the form of sensors and data analytics platforms to create value across the entire lifecycle of the utility system while improving overall business operations and safety of water utility providers," the report said.

IBM's Watson fed images to estimate water use efficiency in California


And one company is now applying IBM's Watson machine learning system in an interesting way to tell water utilities something they would love to know: how efficiently their customers are using water. A geographical analytics company called OmniEarth has Watson churning through banks of aerial and satellite photos to estimate the demand for water on a property-by-property level based on what the property contains. For the Inland Empire Water Utilities Agency and the municipal districts it works with, accessing OmniEarth's data was part of the response to the ongoing drought and the 25-percent reduction in water usage mandated by the state of California last year. Ash noted that the districts working with this information last year learned something useful for California in general--last year's across-the-board emergency 25-percent cut to water usage could be achieved on a permanent basis if everyone just met the state's efficiency standards.