US: NASA is partnering with the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) to develop and apply new technology and products to better manage and monitor the state's water resources and respond to its ongoing drought. NASA scientists, DWR water managers, university researchers and other state resource management agencies will collaborate to apply advanced remote sensing and improved forecast modeling to better assess water resources, monitor drought conditions and water supplies, plan for drought response and mitigation, and measure drought impacts. "Over the past two decades, NASA has developed capabilities to measure and provide useful information for all components of Earth's freshwater resources worldwide. Working with partners like DWR, we are leveraging NASA's unique Earth monitoring tools and science expertise to help managers address the state's water management challenges,” said Michael Freilich, director of NASA's Earth Science Division in Washington.
NASA will conduct airborne campaigns, satellite studies and analyses of weather and climate models to enhance understanding and improve forecasts of atmospheric rivers. These narrow, low-altitude, elongated corridors of water vapor account for most major flooding events, provide about 40 percent of California's freshwater, and often are drought busters. They help scientists understand and predict the global water cycle and its regional extremes. "We value the partnership with NASA and the ability of their remote sensing resources to integrate data over large spatial scales, which is useful for assessing drought impacts. Early detection of land subsidence hot spots, for example, can help forestall long-term damage to water supply and flood control infrastructure,” said Jeanine Jones, Interstate Water Resources Manager, DWR, Sacramento, California.