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July 21, 2021

Call For Abstracts: A Valley of Opportunity

WWAO is hosting a session at the American Meteorological Society's 102nd Annual Meeting in January 2022. We invite you to join our discussion on building water solutions that harness satellite data to address decision-maker needs.

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July 20, 2021

NASA Images Highlight Severity of California’s Drought

California’s reservoirs are rapidly drying up and the water level in Shasta Lake — the largest reservoir in the state — has dipped to about 35% of its capacity. The L.A. Times spoke to WWAO about how the drought looks from space.

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July 19, 2021

Call For Abstracts: Data-Driven Water Management

WWAO is hosting a session at the 2021 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting this December. Part of the conference’s Science to Action track, our session looks at how to improve water management using satellite Earth observations. We invite you to join us.

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July 19, 2021

NASA Training on Coastal/Estuarine Water Quality

NASA’s Applied Remote Sensing Training Program (ARSET) is offering a Monitoring Coastal and Estuarine Water Quality webinar as part of its effort to train, empower and advance.

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July 15, 2021

Sierra Snowbank Short on Funds

Mountain snow – a bank account for water across the western U.S. – has turned up insufficient funds this year. The Sierra Nevada snowpack melted nearly a month earlier than usual, leaving reservoirs without their usual inflow of freshwater.

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July 15, 2021

Satellites Track Searing Heat Over U.S. Southwest

While one science instrument mapped the dome of high pressure that settled over the southwestern U.S. in early July, another captured ground surface temperatures.

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July 7, 2021

NASA Strengthens Our Resilience to Drought

In the face of severe west-U.S. drought, NASA has launched a new page highlighting its eyes on the drought, which are helping track and monitor the ongoing drought, predict how much water will be available, and improve how we use the water we have.

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July 7, 2021

Surge in Coastal Floods Projected, Starting in 2030s

In the mid-2030s, every U.S. coast will experience rapidly increasing high-tide floods, when a lunar cycle will amplify rising sea levels caused by climate change.

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June 30, 2021

Water-Tracking Satellite Moves Closer to Blastoff

Set for launch next year, the Surface Water and Ocean Topography mission will help scientists monitor Earth’s oceans, as well as the amount of freshwater in its lakes and rivers.

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June 18, 2021

California Reservoirs Reflect Deepening Drought

Four years after California emerged from a severe multi-year drought, the state’s precipitation and lake levels are among their worst since the 1970s. The deepening drought is seen in satellite images of the state’s two largest reservoirs.

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June 15, 2021

Western Soils And Plants Are Parched

For the second year in a row, drought has overtaken much of the U.S. from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Coast. Our Crop-CASMA soil moisture data portal, jointly developed with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, reflects the dry times.

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June 14, 2021

NASA Snow Campaign Wraps For 2021

The 2021 SnowEx field campaign, which is helping determine how much water winter snowpack holds, has come to a close. Teams took snow measurements at six sites across the western U.S., on the ground and with drones and airplanes flying overhead.

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May 29, 2021

The Central California Town That Keeps Sinking

The very ground upon which Corcoran lies has dipped nearly 12 feet in 14 years as a result of pumping of underground water for irrigation. Scientists can track the subsidence in the region using radar and satellite technology.

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May 27, 2021

Satellites Show Water Cycle Ramping up as Climate Warms

For years, scientists looked for ways to measure large-scale changes in Earth’s water cycle. Satellites measuring the gravity of water delivered. From 2003 to 2019, land evapotranspiration increased by 10%, one sign that our water cycle is ramping up.

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May 24, 2021

New NASA Earth System Observatory to Help Mitigate Climate Change, Disasters

NASA will design a new set of Earth-focused missions to help mitigate climate change and disasters, fight forest fires, and improve real-time agricultural processes.

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May 12, 2021

Reclamation Provides $2.5M For Snow Water-Supply Forecasting

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has announced $2.5 million of funding for 12 projects to advance snow measurement technology with the goal of improving water-supply forecasts.

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May 11, 2021

California Expands Drought Emergency to Large Swath of State

After one of the warmest, driest springs on record, most of the American west is in extensive drought. Amid acute water shortages in northern and central California, a drought emergency has been expanded to a large swath of the state.

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May 7, 2021

PACE Terrestrial-Land Community Assessment

NASA’s Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem (PACE) mission is inviting the terrestrial-land community to provide insight into how PACE data products can be used.

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May 6, 2021

New SWOT Satellite to Survey World's Water

How much water sloshes around in Earth’s lakes, rivers, and oceans? And how does that amount change over time? The upcoming Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission plans to find out.

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April 30, 2021

Our Planet, Our Future

The 2021 Nobel Prize Summit issues an urgent call for action to achieve effective planetary stewardship and global sustainability.

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April 29, 2021

Covering Canals With Solar Panels Could Reduce Emissions, Save Water

A new study finds that covering thousands of miles of California’s canals with solar panels could help the state meet its ambitious goals to reduce greenhouse emissions as well as improve irrigation management.

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April 27, 2021

Sizing up Remote Lakes From Space

Researchers have found a new way to measure the depth of some of the most isolated, shallow lakes, using NASA's ICESat-2 satellite. Knowing the shapes of lake beds in dry regions enables us to better estimate the amount of water stored in these basins.

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April 22, 2021

Using Floodwater to Weather Droughts

Floodwaters aren't what most would consider a blessing. But they could help remedy California’s increasingly parched groundwater systems, according to a new study.

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April 21, 2021

NASA 2021 Water Resources Solicitation

NASA has released a 2021 solicitation for water-resource proposals through NASA's Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES). The first-round deadline is May 21, 2021.

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April 20, 2021

Green Lakes From Space

Harmful algal blooms are often hard to predict. NASA's Earth-observing satellites are uniquely poised to help spot them, and track the many ways that different parts of the Earth's system are connected.

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April 19, 2021

We're All Connected

From big to small...we’re all connected. In honor of Earth Day this week, NASA is hosting an Earth Day Virtual Event and releasing a range of activities, live talks, games, videos and great downloadable posters and books.

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April 12, 2021

When The Water Isn't Fine

The Cyanobacteria Assessment Network (CyAN) - a joint EPA, NASA, NOAA and USGS project - uses satellites to monitor harmful algal blooms in over 2,000 of the largest U.S. lakes. Since its launch, CyAN has saved millions of dollars in monitoring and health costs. 

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April 9, 2021

Climate Change Devastates Housing Security

In 2020, there were 22 billion-dollar U.S. climate disasters - floods, storms, droughts, heatwaves. One third of U.S. homes are at high risk from natural disaster, with many homeowners bearing the brunt of costly repairs.

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April 9, 2021

Urgent Action Needed to Secure Global Food Supply

A comprehensive new review calls for urgent climate action to secure nutrition around the world. Climate change will have a major impact on global food production and human health without collaboration betwen consumers, food industries, policy makers and government.

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April 6, 2021

Satellites Shaping Algal Bloom Monitoring Standards

Earth data are becoming more widely valued. For the first time, satellite data have been included in the World Health Organization’s guide on monitoring harmful algal blooms worldwide. The update draws directly from the Cyanobacteria Assessment Network, a multi-agency water project involving NASA.

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April 5, 2021

Delta-X Field Campaign Begins in Louisiana

Teams are heading out by land, water and air to collect data that will be used to forecast land gain and loss in the Mississippi River Delta as a result of sea level rise.

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April 5, 2021

WWAO Passes Baton to U.S. Dept. of Agriculture

We have liftoff! NASA WWAO's new Soil Moisture Data System is operational and has been handed off to its partner, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as the project comes to a close.

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March 31, 2021

WWAO 2020 Annual Report

In the face of a global pandemic, 2020 underscored the need for data to drive decision making. Improving the way we manage water is as critical as ever. WWAO’s Annual Report, now available, summarizes how we endeavored to move the needle in 2020.

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March 29, 2021

New Partnership to Support Sustainable Agriculture

NASA’s Harvest program and soil analytics company CropX have announced a new partnership. The alliance will provide farmers and industry experts with insights that help improve farming sustainability by conserving resources and improving crop yields.

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March 24, 2021

NISAR Spacecraft Takes Leap Forward

NISAR, an SUV-sized Earth satellite that will feature the largest reflector antenna ever launched by NASA, is taking shape in the clean room at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Its mission is to track disasters as well as the effects of climate change.

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March 23, 2021

NASA Joins National Climate Task Force

As a leading agency observing and understanding environmental changes on Earth, NASA has joined the Biden administration's National Climate Task Force.

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March 11, 2021

NASA Data Power New Soil Moisture Portal

WWAO's new soil moisture data portal - Crop-CASMA - is live. Crop-CASMA, which provides high-resolution, field-scale soil wetness from NASA satellites in an easy-to-use format, is a collaboration between NASA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and George Mason University.

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March 4, 2021

Humans Shifting Earth's Surface Water Storage

Using NASA's Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite 2 (ICESat-2), scientists have shown humans are having a much bigger impact on surface storage variability than previously thought, with over half of the planet's variability happening in managed reservoirs.

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February 12, 2021

California’s Rainy Season Now Starts a Month Later

California's annual rainy season now begins a month later than it did just 60 years ago, shifting from November to December. The results are consistent with climate models that predict drier autumns for California in a warming climate.

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January 25, 2021

WWAO Request For Information

WWAO is launching new water projects in the U.S. Columbia River Basin. As part of this effort, we’re looking for information on activities using NASA data or technology that could address key water issues in the region.

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January 23, 2021

One Third of U.S. Rivers Have Changed Color

Rivers are among the most degraded ecosystems on Earth. The first map of river color from Landsat surface-reflectance data shows one third of U.S. rivers have changed color significantly over the last 35 years.

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January 22, 2021

Potent Atmospheric Rivers Douse Pacific Northwest

In mid-January, the U.S. Pacific Northwest was soaked by several episodes of heavy rainfall, leading to widespread flooding and landslides. NASA data show these rivers in the sky.

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January 18, 2021

Climate Change Shifting Earth’s Rain Belt

Work from UC Irvine and NASA shows climate change will move Earth's tropical rain belt, with cascading effects on water availability and potential threats to global food security.

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January 14, 2021

2020 Was Warmest Year on Record

2020 was a rough year for planet Earth, and NASA found it was the hottest on record. Our warming planet fanned the flames of extreme wildfires, drought and hurricanes.

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December 24, 2020

Seeing COVID From Space

NASA is tracking the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on our air, land, water and climate. The data have been collected in a free, openly-available online dashboard.

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December 17, 2020

NASA, USDA Increasing Innovation in Agriculture

A new agreement between the U.S. Department of Agriculture and NASA will strengthen agricultural and Earth science research. WWAO’s collaboration with the USDA on its High-Resolution Soil Moisture Project fits into this larger partnership.

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December 16, 2020

From Space to Farm

Farmers rely on the Landsat satellite to make decisions about crops, with far-reaching implications that can impact what we see on our dinner plate. In this curious video, Landsat's view of crops from space can be heard in the form of music.

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December 15, 2020

Sea-Level Projections Drive San Francisco's Plans

Access to the latest information about sea-level rise is crucial to many coastal cities. New NASA research is helping San Francisco plan measures to adapt to rising seas.

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December 14, 2020

The Drying U.S. West

A serious drought has flared up across half of the United States, with about a third of the country suffering from extreme or exceptional drought. This familiar story has been playing out for the past two decades.

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December 13, 2020

Connecting The Drops - Nikki Tulley, Navajo Nation

Nikki Tulley is a member of the Navajo Nation working with WWAO on its Navajo Drought Project. She explains why she's on a mission to help her community protect its most vital resource: water.

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December 11, 2020

WWAO Passes The Baton to The Navajo

We have liftoff! NASA WWAO's new Drought Severity Tool is operational and has been handed off to its tribal partner, the Navajo Nation, as the project comes to a close.

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December 10, 2020

New Ocean Satellite Releases Impressive First Data

Launched three weeks ago, the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite has returned its first data and is surpassing expectations. The NASA-U.S.-European satellite will measure sea-level rise with unprecedented accuracy.

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December 9, 2020

NASA-Navajo Drought Tool User Guide Launched

WWAO's Navajo Nation Drought Tool User Guide is now live. This marks a milestone in the transition of our Navajo Drought Project from research to decision makers, and is key to building capacity within the Navajo community to use the tool. 

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December 7, 2020

Biodiversity Beneath Our Feet

Increasing attention is being paid to soil biodiversity, which drives many processes that produce food or purify soil and water. A UN report highlights how critical soil organisms are, and how soil biodiversity can offer solutions to today's global threats.

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December 4, 2020

Early Access to Global Flood Tracking

Floods are the most deadly and costly natural hazard. A NASA team is streamlining access to real-time satellite data so disaster managers can make informed decisions, faster.

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December 3, 2020

Satellites Improving Flood And Landslide Monitoring

NASA scientists Dalia Kirschbaum and Maggi Glascoe are using satellite data to pioneer improved landslide and flood alerting around the world.

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November 19, 2020

Disparities in U.S. Water Access

A new study reveals key disparities in piped water access in urban U.S. areas. From 2013 to 2017, 1.1M people had insecure water access, with half located in the 50 largest metropolitan areas. Gaps in water access are underpinned by precarious housing conditions and systemic inequality.

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November 16, 2020

NASA's Water Portal Launched

Our new NASA Water Portal is now live. The portal serves as a hub for building connections between our catalogs of Water Data Needs and Water Capabilities and our partners, including water managers, decision makers, and scientists.

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November 3, 2020

Push to Make NASA Earth Data More Accessible

NASA has accumulated 40 petabytes of Earth science data, twice as much as all of the information stored by the Library of Congress. In the next five years, that will grow to 250 PB. 11 new projects are launching to help manage, store and search these data.

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September 15, 2020

Arming Farmers With Data as Water Dwindles

Water managers need accurate, consistent and timely data. A new online platform called OpenET puts NASA data in the hands of farmers, water managers and conservation groups.

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July 20, 2020

Carrying Water For The Community

Water is critical for the arid, underserved Navajo Nation. Carlee McClellan, Navajo hydrologist, is working with WWAO to deliver a space-based solution for monitoring water availability. 

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July 20, 2020

New WWAO Report – From Research to Operations

In collaboration with the Western States Water Council, WWAO has released a report on transitioning water science from research to decision maker. The findings outline best practices as well as the challenges that must be overcome.

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April 21, 2020

When it Comes to Water, Think Global

Planet Earth should be named Planet Water, with 70% of its surface covered in ocean. Yet the freshwater that sustains our lives is a precious resource. NASA is at the forefront of monitoring it from every angle.

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April 19, 2020

Tracking Water For The Navajo

A new web tool designed by WWAO scientists could help the Navajo Nation anticipate and respond to drought. The latest maps give insight into the moderate to severe drought conditions affecting much of the area.

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March 31, 2020

Seeking Relief From Drought, Navajo Turn to NASA

On the Navajo Nation, access to drinking water is limited. Over 40 percent of homes lack running water. The community is hit by frequent, pervasive drought. WWAO is developing a new drought tool that, with the help of satellite data, will enable Navajo water managers to hone in on drought severity and better manage the water they have.