Droughts and Deep Learning

Withering droughts that recently parched areas as far-flung as California, Brazil and Australia are just a preview of what’s to come, scientists predict, as global warming worsens. We can’t make it rain. But deep learning could help thirsty communities find out just how much water they have. Orbital Insight, a Palo Alto, Calif.,-based startup, has developed a GPU-accelerated deep learning system that’s designed to measure and monitor the surface levels of freshwater reserves across the globe. Using surface area to indicate water volume, the company aims to start giving water managers and policymakers a picture of how much water is available. “To understand the severity of a drought, you have to measure its effects,” said Shwetank Kumar, the company’s vice president of product engineering. Once communities know how much water…

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