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Stories | July 7, 2021

NASA Strengthens Our Resilience to Drought

By Amber Jenkins

The USDA-NASA Crop-CASMA product, co-developed by NASA's Western Water Applications Office, shows soil moisture anomalies — where moisture was above or below normal — across the continental U.S. in early June 2021.

The American west is in the grip of an exceptional drought. Following one of the planet’s hottest years on record, and with rainfall and snowfall in the western U.S. well below average, water managers, policy makers, government agencies and scientists are facing strapped water supplies and anticipating potentially devastating wildfires.

Using its satellites, aircraft and computer models, NASA is helping water managers respond to these increasingly dry times. Our new drought resource page highlights some of NASA’s eyes on the drought, which are helping farmers, reservoir managers and decision makers track and monitor the ongoing drought, predict how much water will be available, and help improve how we use the water we have. The page will be updated as new insights emerge.

Underpinning all of this is NASA’s expertise in water science, our partnerships with water managers across the country, and our leadership in space and remote-sensing technology.