Although wetlands remain threatened in many parts of the world — including the U.S., which accounts for more losses than any other country — worldwide wetland losses have likely been overestimated, according to a new study in Nature.
About 36 million dead trees were recorded in California last year, a dramatic increase from previous years. A report by the U.S. Forest Service explains the die-offs are the result of drought, insects and disease.
Nine atmospheric rivers dropped feet of rain and snow across California and the West Coast from late December to mid-January. The deluge caused deaths, landslides and flooding, but improved the drought situation across a large chunk of the western United States.
About 40% of the world's population live within 100 km of the coast, and floods affect more people than any other type of natural disaster. NASA's floods toolkit offers easy access to NASA Earth data that can help scientists and decision makers understand floods, respond to them, and map their impact.
Wastewater surveillance was a key part of public-health response to COVID-19. A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine calls for further development and continued investment.
A new project involving Columbia University, New York City and NASA scientists will build a climate action plan to reduce the impact of climate change on New York's water supply, and ensure the agricultural sector continues to protect the city's water quality.
There is no historic precedent for today's conditions in the Colorado River. The most severe drought for around 1200 years, climate change and rising temperatures are making it hard to predict the river's future.
Big ag can be hard on the planet, with land often left barren between planting, leading to erosion of top soil. New results show farms in the U.S. Midwest are increasingly planting cover crops, benefitting the environment in a myriad of ways.
Flood risk across California is growing, partly thanks to storms producing more rain than snow. The updated Central Valley Flood Protection Plan plots a path to better flood management and infrastructure, especially in the most vulnerable communities of the Central Valley.
Bright blue water in the Caribbean Sea and smog in Northern India appear in the first worldwide image produced with data from NOAA-21’s VIIRS instrument, which began collecting Earth data in December. VIIRS offers global insight into our atmosphere, land, and oceans.
The U.S. Department of the Interior has announced new funding to protect the sustainability of the Colorado River System. $4 billion will be focused on water management and conservation efforts in the Colorado River Basin and other areas experiencing similar levels of drought.
Dallas is only the latest flood disaster. The many effects associated with flooding show why a holistic approach to planning for climate change is needed, and what communities can learn from one another in the face of a warming planet.
Water in Lake Mead - the U.S.' largest reservoir - is at its lowest level since 1937 when the reservoir was filled for the first time. At just 27% capacity, NASA images offer a stark illustration of climate change and a long-term drought that may be the worst in the U.S. West in 12 centuries.
WWAO is hosting a session at the 2022 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting this December, jointly with NASA's Water Resources Program. Our session looks at how to improve water management using satellite Earth observations. We invite you to join us!
The 2022 National Water Use Data Workshop will focus on improving water-data management and sharing. The event is led by WWAO collaborators including the Western States Water Council Water Information Management Systems Group, U.S. Geological Survey, Interstate Council on Water Policy, and Internet of Water.
La Niña may be sticking around, unusually, for a third year running. This ‘triple dip’ event — lasting three years in a row — has happened only twice since 1950. It could mean more drought in the southern U.S. and become more regular as the planet warms.
Vast swathes of the western U.S. are currently being affected by a megadrought, which started in 2000 and is almost in its 23rd year. Recent research suggests this ranks as the driest 22-year period in southwestern North America since at least 800 C.E.
Images from Lake Oroville and Lake Shasta compiled by the state show ‘a shocking drop in water levels’ compared to years past. California, like much of the U.S. West can expect a searing, dry summer ahead.
Communities in the Cheat River watershed in West Virginia face frequent flooding, which threatens to reverse years of restoration work aimed at cleaning up pollution from mining. NASA has partnered with a local non-profit to help build resilience to future floods.
How much water is in mountain snowpack? That’s a question science has been attempting to solve for decades. Finally, NASA-developed technology provides an accurate answer, using a cutting-edge airborne sensor system and sophisticated software that also predicts when snow will melt.
NASA has co-launched a new modeling framework for assessing water use and estimating crop yields at regional levels. GEO-CropSim integrates Earth observations into crop models to help decision makers manage crop production while analyzing water use.
OpenET is a satellite-based tool that supplies critical information on water use in 17 western U.S. states. It will help farmers and water managers better understand water use and water lost through evapotranspiration.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.