Harvard’s Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation announced sixteen finalists for their 2009 Innovations in American Government Awards on May 18, 2009. The sixteen finalists—whittled from a pool of more than 600 applicants—have provided innovations to city, county, state, or federal government.
The state of Idaho was recognized as one of the finalists for its “Mapping Evapotranspiration from Satellites” program. Using Landsat data, the Idaho Department of Water Resources has been able to produce detailed evapotranspiration maps, which inform decisions on local and regional water-demand issues.
Winners of the awards will be announced in the fall.
+ Idaho Department of Water Resources’ Ash Presentation [youtube—external link]
+ Precious Resources: Water & Landsat’s Thermal Band
Safeguarding freshwater resources is crucial, and while scientists use a variety of ground-based techniques to gauge water quality, the Landsat program has provided water quality data from orbit for decades.