Our Team

S4W = Young Researchers + Mobile Technology + Citizen Science

In the coming years SmartPhone technology will change the way hydrologic data is collected, transmitted, and utilized.  SmartPhones4Water aims to link these technological advancements with young researchers and citizen scientists to (1) improve lives by strengthening our understanding and management of water, while at the same time (2) improving the quality of young researchers’ outputs, and (3) the connectedness between communities and their water resources. Our team has a rich and diverse range of technical, social, and entrepreneurial skills and experience to bring to the table to ensure that our vision becomes a reality.

Among others, Our Team has consulted for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UN-FAO), several large irrigation districts in the Western US; county, state, and federal resource agencies in California; the Cal Poly Irrigation Training and Research Center in San Luis Obispo California; the National Water Board and several regional Water Boards in The Netherlands; the Chinese government; renewable energy startups in Thailand; and water resource managers in South America and Africa.


Citizen ScientistsAbout_CS

The most important part of our team is you, the citizen scientists and donors that make this all possible!

Rajaram PrajapatiAbout_Rajaram

Rajaram Prajapati is currently enrolled as a final year M.Sc. student in Water Resources Engineering at the Institute of Engineering, Pulchowk Campus in Kathmandu, Nepal. Besides Rajaram’s academic background, more recently, he is working as an Assistant Lecturer (Part time) at the Department of Civil Engineering in Khwopa College of Engineering. In parallel, Rajaram is providing research assistance for the “Assessment of groundwater quality and water level variation of Bhaktapur municipality.” Rajaram has also been involved in research on “Assessment of groundwater level variations (temporal and spatial) of Kathmandu valley.” Rajaram’s primary interests include groundwater modeling and river basin management. Rajaram has always had a passion for research in these areas, and is excited to be part of the S4W team!

Nischal DevkotaAbout_Nischal

Namaste from Nepal! Nischal is a B.Sc. (Hons) Environment Science student in Nepal. He has worked on projects that tackle subjects related to ecology, biodiversity, pollution, and human interactions with the environment. Such projects include Dolphin Census in Nepal, Fish Diversity Study in Karnali River, Bagmati Expedition 2017, and others. He has a keen interest in understanding relations between ecosystem resources and people and how this changes with technological advancements and development. In his own words, “Working with S4W, has given me an opportunity to indulge in these interests even more passionately!”

Anusha PandeyAbout_Anusha

Anusha Pandey is currently enrolled as a fourth year B.Sc. Environment Science student at Naaya Aayam Multi-Disciplinary Institute (NAMI) in Jorpati, Kathmandu. She has been involved in various research projects such as the National Dolphin Survey 2016, Bagmati River Expedition 2017, Long Term Citizen Science based Monitoring in Head-water Hydrology and Aquatic Biodiversity Within Shivapuri-Nagarjun National Park, and Ecohydrology of the Rivers in Far-Western and Mid-Western Development Regions of Nepal. She has keen interest in understanding the interactions between flow regimes and their respective ecosystems. Anusha is eager to see how citizen science can be utilized in Nepal to reveal a more detailed spatial and temporal understanding of these systems. Anusha joined S4W-Nepal in June 2016 as a research intern. Now she leads the S4W-Nepal Flow group, and is involved implementing citizen science for ecological assessments of Nepal’s freshwater systems. S4W-Nepal has given her a good platform to explore her academic interests.

Anu Grace RaiAbout_Anu

Anu is a first year student in BHTM (Bachelors in Hospitality and Tourism Management) at Kathmandu University.  She enjoys being a part of the S4W-Nepal team because she learns new things and she sees the value in a clean environment.  Anu is in charge of reviewing the accuracy of each citizen science measurement.  She does this by comparing the entered data to the photograph(s) the citizen scientists take.  She loves to travel, laugh, and eat lots of food.

Eliyah MoktanAbout_Eliyah

Coming soon…

Sanam TamangAbout_Sanam

Coming soon…

Anurag GyawaliAbout_Anurag

Coming soon…


Jeff DavidsAbout_Jeff_Davids

Jeff is founder and president of SmartPhones4Water and H2oTech, a PhD researcher at Delft University of Technology, and a water resources engineer for Davids Engineering. Jeff has a B.S. in General Engineering from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, a M.S. in Geosciences from CSU Chico with an emphasis in Hydrogeology, and is a registered Professional Civil Engineer in California. Jeff has over 10 years of experience as a Water Resources Engineer and has successfully completed a diverse range of projects in the western U.S. and abroad. Jeff’s interests include the Water-Energy-Food (Environment) nexus, the characterization of stream-aquifer interactions, groundwater modeling, fluid mechanics and flow measurement, and innovative solutions for environmental monitoring challenges.

Brandon ErtisAbout_BrandonErtis

Brandon Ertis is a licensed professional engineer in the state of California, has a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from UC Davis, and is currently working towards a Master’s Degree in Environmental Science at CSU Chico. He has over four years of experience working with water resources in California, including agricultural water management, environmental monitoring, and flow measurement. After graduating from UC Davis, he also completed an internship with Engineering Ministries International (eMi), working on a community development project in rural Kenya analyzing opportunities for water-related development. He has a strong interest in how innovative technologies and creative solutions can be used to better understand and manage water resources and improve people’s quality of life in locations around the world.

Kristi DavidsK_Davids

Kristi graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a B.A. in English, and minors in Spanish and Linguistics.  She has worked at the ground level of several successful businesses, and has a wide range of entrepreneurial and social talents.  In addition to her vision casting role at SmartPhones4Water, Kristi currently raises three wonderful children, teaches Spanish to elementary school children, and manages sales and accounting for H2oTech.

Advisory Board

Nick van de GiesenN_van_de_Giesen

Nick van de Giesen received his B.S. and M.Sc. degrees in Land and Water Management from Wageningen Agricultural University, The Netherlands, in 1984 and 1987, respectively, and his Ph.D. degree in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, in 1994.  After a postdoctoral position with the West Africa Rice Development Association, Côte d’Ivoire, he was a Senior Researcher for six years with the Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn, Germany, where he was Scientific Coordinator of the Global Change in the Hydrological Cycle Volta Project.

Since 2004, he has been with Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands, where he holds the “Van Kuffeler” Chair of Water Resources Management. Since April 2009, he is chairman of the Delft Research Initiative Environment.  In 2011 he was science representative in “Topteam Water”, which advised the Dutch government on innovation in the water sector.  He has co-developed two spin-off companies.  He is member of several national and international  scientific advisory boards.

Steve LyonSteve_200x300

Steve Lyon completed his doctoral work at the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University in 2006 with a dissertation entitled Incorporating the spatial structure of shallow water tables into hydrology. Steve continued with postdoctoral research at the University of Arizona focusing on the evolution of land-water interaction in space and time. Following that work, he joined the Department of Physical Geography at Stockholm University where he promoted to Professor in 2016 and maintains an active research group. In addition, he is currently working as a Freshwater Scientist with The Nature Conservancy exploring how we can target and prioritize conservation efforts along river networks to re-connect floodplains thereby promoting ecosystem functionality and benefits for both upstream and downstream communities. Throughout his career, Steve’s work has combined innovative approaches to isolate hydrological processes and engage people across scales with the hope to improve the representation of societal interaction with water resources. It is only through such refinement of process understanding that we can improve our resource management in the face of coupled climate and land-use change.

Martine Ruttenourteam_martine

Martine Rutten investigates how information systems (combination of models, remote sensing, and ground data) can effectively support adaptive delta and water management in developing countries. Key elements of this research include developing systems together with local parties and providing actionable perspectives. Case studies of this work are underway in Vietnam, Myanmar, and Nepal. Work includes inclusive development paths for Red River Landscapes based on ecosystem services reservoirs management for the Day River, a Red River sub-basin reservoir management for flood control in the Sittaung-Bago River in Myanmar-Coastal squeeze in the Ayarawady delta analyzed from remote sensing.  Martine is also currently advising students at universities in Vietnam (HUNRE, Hanoi), Kenya (SEKU), Armenia, Georgia (TSU), Azerbaijan, Myanmar (YTU) on  the development and improvement of water management curricula at undergraduate and graduate level.  Martine is also developing entrepreneurship courses for TU Delft, HRO and, UNESCO-IHE for the Valorisatie programma Delta technology en Water (VPDelta).

Deep Narayan Shah

Coming soon…

Ram Devi Tachamo Shah

Coming soon…