When you think about measuring climate change or forecasting the next big flood or drought, one might assume high-tech equipment being part of the process. Certainly, it is vital. Yet technology only forms part of the equation — equally crucial are people. Take for example Oak Let, a civil servant with the provincial government of Koh Kong, Cambodia, who until recently relied on the most simple of instruments to measure the weather for her community.
If you were to stroll by her home in the morning or the afternoon, you might catch a glimpse of her in the backyard. Because every day for over a decade she has followed a singular routine: getting out of her one-room wooden home and into her backyard ringed by durian plantations where she checks water levels.
In the yard, sits a container that gathers rainwater, which Ms. Let pours into a beaker, to measure the amount of precipitation. Twice a day, she records the level in a logbook, then reports the information to her counterparts in the Ministry of Water Resources.