The Team

Project Lead: Sameer H. Shah, Akshay Mehra

Data Science Lead: Vaughn Iverson

Community Engagement Lead: Linda Méndez-Barrientos

DSSG Fellows: Kimberly Kreiss, Maia Powell, Violet Huang, Aanchal Setia

Executive Summary

The Colorado River Basin is facing unprecedented water scarcity; however, existing basin-wide water governance approaches largely disregard groundwater – a critical, yet increasingly scarce, resource. We developed an accessible and open data science workflow for making estimates of groundwater change publicly available. We use data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment (GRACE) mission – a complex dataset requiring significant technical expertise. Our workflow allows users to download, process, merge, and interpret complex hydrological data, including GRACE data, to derive estimates of groundwater anomalies over time. This tool can enable interdisciplinary research and public policy decisions reflective of large-scale and long-term groundwater dynamics.


We would like to thank and acknowledge many people for their invaluable advice and support throughout this program, including: Dharma Dailey, Bernease Herman, Naomi Alterman, Jenny Holcomb, Felix Landerer (NASA JPL), and the 2023 Heat Pumps Team.