Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association (LVMA) contracted with VESTRA to provide services in creating climate maps from the Prism Climate Groups data to assist LVMA with their effort to assess vineyard suitability within the Livermore Valley American Viticulture Area (AVA). The project consisted of migrating 30 years’ worth of climate data from the Prism Climate Group’s website into ArcGIS Online as feature services. Using these services, VESTRA built maps in ArcGIS Online using Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS to asses such things as annual average precipitation, average mean temperature per month, minimum/maximum temperature per month, and average growing degree days.
Salton Sea air quality program support
Challenge: The Salton Sea Air Quality Mitigation (SS AQM) Program was developed by the Imperial Irrigation District to provide a comprehensive, science-based, and adaptive approach to address air quality mitigation requirements associated with the transfer of conserved water under the Quantification Settlement Agreement. The transfer reduces the volume of agricultural return flow to the Salton Sea, thereby exposing the playa and increasing the potential for dust emissions that could affect nearby communities.
Solution: VESTRA worked with Formation Environmental to develop an end-user web application that allows users to download GIS layers for comparison and visualization, which includes: Emissions Inventory and Monitoring Program, Dust Control Strategy and Planning, as well as Dust Control Implementation.
The Emissions Inventory and Monitoring Program will identify the playa surface characteristics and surface mineralogy dynamics that create salt crust conditions vulnerable to erosion. It will also measure the emissions potential of playa surfaces and identify dust source areas. These activities will provide a better understanding of salt crust formation and erosion at the Salton Sea, and ultimately inform dust control planning and implementation. The SS AQM Program will also assess dust emissions from adjacent desert areas to better understand the location and timing of off-sea emissions. Visualizations include: Playa Exposure, Playa Surface Characteristics, Playa Emissions Potential, and the Off-Sea Emissions Inventory.
The proactive dust control strategy is designed to prevent exposed playa from becoming a significant source of PM10 emissions, which will help protect the public health of the communities near and around the Salton Sea. A large part of this strategy is to identify and implement dust control measures (DCMs) on emissive playa surfaces before they reach thresholds that prompt regulatory orders for control studies.
Long-term dust control at the Salton Sea is anticipated to include a mosaic of dust control measures to effectively control dust, minimize water use and maximize habitat. Small-scale dust control pilot studies provide important data regarding the suitability of various measures for the playa. Field scale pilot studies provide experience scaling, adapting, and combining dust control measures at a larger scale. A series of field scale pilot studies will be implemented in early 2017 (see below). Planning is underway for several additional field scale pilot studies in 2017-2018.
Benefit: By having all of the data available within an interactive web application, the Imperial Irrigation District is able to visualize the effects of the playa over time and how this is affecting the air quality surrounding the Salton Sea. The web application gives the ability for users to see the affects over time utilizing a time slider and create a scientific prediction for what could happen in the future.
iOS/Android Application Development for Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD) Identification
The UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, working with UC Agriculture and Natural Resources Cooperative Extension and UC Davis Animal Science department (collectively referred to as “UC Davis”), has developed a disease scoring system and risk assessment for identifying Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD) in dairy calves. UC Davis contracted with VESTRA to make this system available to Dairy producers as native iOS (iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch) and Android applications.
These native applications provide a simple bilingual decision support tool that calculates the BRD score based on input from the producer with the capability to:
- Store a history of BRD scores within the applications, allowing the producer to review the history, generate a histogram and email the data in a .csv format that could be used in other farm-level data management tools.
- Generate a BRD Prevalence Estimate. The Prevalence Estimate and 95% confidence limits is stored within the application and included in the history summaries, histogram and email.
iOS Application: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/uc-davis-brd/id1189376374?mt=8
Android Application: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.vestra.brd&hl=en
Cannabis Identification and Prioritization System (CIPS)
PROBLEM: The cultivation of Cannabis in rural parts of California has been increasing which has resulted in significant environmental impacts in the watersheds of California; such as, increased pollution in the local, regional, and state water supplies, increased soil erosion, as well as increased nutrient and pesticide laden runoff. California’s extreme drought conditions have further magnified these impacts.
SOLUTION: The SWRCB and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife were tasked with trying to regulate this activity. As a part of this effort, they contracted with VESTRA to design a Cannabis Identification and Prioritization System (CIPS), which acts both as a repository of geospatial information on grow locations and a tool for helping the agencies prioritize their regulatory efforts based on the potential impact individual grows have on water resources, fish, and wildlife.
VESTRA, along with Formation Environmental, worked to capture grow locations and developed raster datasets which include percent slope, length of slope, evapotranspiration and proximity to surface water. These raster datasets are used along with information on the proximity of threatened fish and wildlife to model the level of threat associated with each grow, allowing the agencies to establish priorities for action.
The web interface includes an operations dashboard that summarizes the number of grows that have been identified in the state, whether they’re outdoor or greenhouse grows, the number in each SWRCB region, and the estimated amount of water consumed by each grow. This dashboard is updated nightly as data becomes available.
VESTRA was contracted by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) to develop the BeefTracker utilizing Esri’s ArcGIS Online web mapping platform as the core foundation for development. The objective of the BeefTracker was to design, develop, and implement a location-based solution for ranchers to document sustainable land practices and to demonstrate that beef production fits within a sustainable ecosystem. The BeefTracker utilizes the latest web-based Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology, and was designed to provide a robust, but easy to use interface for data collection, editing, and reporting.
The initial design and testing of the BeefTracker was based upon input from NCBA’s project team and a select group of volunteer rangeland researchers and ranchers in various parts of the U.S. The input from the project team and volunteers provided great insight into current livestock operation activities, and how the information entered into the application could be used to demonstrate, and to improve operations over time. Keeping this initial design group small allowed VESTRA’s development team to focus on building core functionality that demonstrated how ranchers could utilize and benefit from GIS technology.