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 and water districts in the Western US; county, state, and federal resource agencies in California; renewable energy startups in Thailand; and other water resource managers in South Asia, North and South America, Africa, and beyond.


Citizen Scientists (You!)About_CS

The most important part of our team is you, the citizen scientists and supporters that make everything we do possible!

Rajaram PrajapatiAbout_Rajaram

Rajaram Prajapati is Chief Executive Officer of SmartPhones For Water Nepal (S4W-Nepal). He is currently enrolled as a M.Sc. student in Water Resources Engineering at the Institute of Engineering, Pulchowk Campus in Kathmandu, Nepal. Mr. Prajapati has two years teaching experience in hydropower and irrigation engineering as an assistant lecturer in Khwopa Engineering College. Rajaram’s primary interests include groundwater modeling and river basin management. Rajaram is currently providing research assistance for the “Assessment of groundwater quality and water level variation of Bhaktapur municipality.” Besides, he is also involved in research on “Assessment of groundwater level variations (temporal and spatial) of Kathmandu valley.” Mr. Prajapati is representing Nepal in CitizenScience.Asia as a country ambassador. Rajaram has always had a passion for research in these areas, and is excited to be part of the S4W team!

Anusha PandeyAbout_Anusha

Anusha Pandey completed her B.Sc. in Environmental Science from Naaya Aayam Multi-Disciplinary Institute, Nepal. She has a 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. She has been involved in various research projects such as the National Dolphin Survey 2016, the Bagmati River Expedition 2017, Ecohydrology of the Rivers in Far-Western and Mid-Western Development Regions of Nepal, and others. At present, she works as a Researcher with S4W-Nepal to implement citizen science for eco-hydrological assessments of Nepal’s freshwater systems.

Nischal DevkotaAbout_Nischal

Namaste from Nepal! Nischal is a B.Sc. (Hons) Environmental Science graduate from Nayaa Aayam Multidisciplinary Institute. He has worked on projects that tackle subjects related to ecology, biodiversity, pollution, and human interactions with the environment. Such projects include the Dolphin Census in Nepal, Fish Diversity Study in the Karnali River, Bagmati Expedition 2017, Aquatic Biodiversity and Community Resilience Project with Kathmandu University, and others. He has a keen interest in understanding relations between ecosystem resources and people and how this changes with technological advancements and development. Nischal believes that working with S4W-Nepal has given him an opportunity to indulge in these interests even more passionately!

Eliyah MoktanAbout_Eliyah

Eliyah moktan is currently doing his Masters in Business Studies (MBS) at Patan Multiple campus in Kathmandu, Nepal. Eliyah works as a Project Manager at S4W-Nepal. Although his prime focus is project design and execution, budget development, facilitating logistics, and team management (among others), he is always ready in conducting and performing field works as well. Eliyah supports the S4W-Nepal team in whatever way he can in order for S4W-Nepal’s goals of improving lives and water management to be fulfilled. Eliyah has challenged himself to gain experiences outside of his academic coursework and facilitate the S4W-Nepal team to run smoothly and effectively in every way.

Anurag Gyawali


Anurag Gyawali is a final year B.Sc. Environmental Science student at Golden Gate International College (GGIC), Nepal. Anurag’s work experience has been very diverse over the few years, from teaching Grade 7 to Grade 10 kids at Shanti Niketan School in Chundevi, Bhaktapur to working as Marketing Officer for Everest Pharmaceutical Private Limited in Tinkune, Kathmandu. His involvement with IUCN in National Dolphin Survey 2016 helped increased his interest, excitement, and enthusiasm for water resources. Shortly after, Anurag joined S4W-Nepal as a Citizen Science Coordinator and has been working closely with citizen scientist to connect with their water resources through collecting regular water observations with their smartphones. Anurag believes S4W-Nepal has given him a good platform to explore his academic interests and tackle practical challenges towards generating these data.

Saujan Maka


Saujan Maka is currently working as a Data Analyst in S4W-Nepal and is helping in managing and analyzing collected data. Saujan is building a robust and user friendly web platform where S4W can explore and find the stories in the data they are generating. In addition to his work with S4W-Nepal, he is studying and applying other technologies like Elasticsearch and Hadoop that can be used to scale IT service more efficiently.

Surabhi Upadhyay


Surabhi is a final year student of B.Sc. Environmental Science (Hons.) at Naya Aayam Multidisciplinary Institute (NAMI), Nepal. After working as a citizen scientist for a year in S4W-Nepal, she found her interest, and passion in sustainable water management field. Her active involvement in generating daily precipitation and monthly groundwater measurements data in the past year has shaped her belief that human beings connection with water is much more deeper than we realize. She currently works as a ‘Research Assistant Intern’ at S4W-Nepal and is both, excited and enthusiastic to analyze how these data generated by citizen scientist can help towards managing water resources sustainably.

Amber Bahadur Thapa


Amber completed his B.Sc. in Environmental Science from Tribhuvan University, Nepal and is currently serving as a Research Assistant Intern at S4W-Nepal. Amber did his Bachelor’s project in groundwater quality analysis. Since then, he has been deeply interested in learning more about groundwater. In his view, water is an essential commodity and its measurement is a must. Amber is interested in Environmentalism and Social work, and believes that travelling and research can be wonderfully expressed in this space. He has been involved in projects like Initial Environmental Examination of different Hydropower projects of the country, Earthquake relief programs, and others. In the coming days, Amber is excited to see how the data generated through the help of citizen scientist will help solve our most pressing water management issues.

Pratik Shrestha


Pratik Shrestha is a first year B.Sc. Environmental Science student at Golden Gate International College, Nepal. Pratik loves the Kathmandu Valley, but is sad to see its continually increasing water problems. After volunteering for a month in Pre-Monsoon 2D-LUC (Dhunge Dhaara and Land Use Changes) Campaign launched by S4W-Nepal, Pratik is ready to explore new areas of water resource management. As a Research Assistant Intern at S4W-Nepal, Pratik is actively involved in generating quantity and quality data about springs, streams, stone spouts, and groundwater. Pratik also works closely with Citizen Scientists to train and motivate them to send daily precipitation measurements. Pratik regularly reviews the data send our beloved citizen scientists. Pratik hopes to enhance his knowledge and expertise in water management and contribute the knowledge his gains for the betterment of society.

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.

Sanam TamangAbout_Sanam

Sanam Tamang lives in Sadobato, Lalitpur and is working towards his Bachelor’s degree in social work. Sanam has a passion to see people in communities rise to their full potential. For S4W-Nepal, Sanam is the guy who “just gets stuff done,” whether it is building rain gauges, installing staff gauges, or measuring salt packets for streamflow measurements. Sanam is excited to apply his passion for people to his work at S4W-Nepal.


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 Ertisbrandon-ertis

Brandon Ertis is a licensed professional engineer in the state of California and has a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from UC Davis and a Master of Science in Environmental Science from CSU Chico. He has over six years of experience working with water resources and water management in California, including agricultural water management, abandoned mine remediation, environmental monitoring, and flow measurement. He also has experience working in cross-cultural settings through participation and collaboration on projects based in Kenya and Nepal. He has a strong interest in how wise stewardship of natural resources, 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 ranging from his home in northern California to places abroad.

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…