NASA, California in partnership to respond to ongoing drought

Feb. 25, 2014 at 5:57 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- NASA says it is partnering with California to develop technologies to better manage and monitor the state's water resources and respond to its ongoing drought.

NASA scientists would work with California Department of Water Resources water managers, university researchers and other state resource management agencies 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, the space agency reported Tuesday.

"Over the past two decades, NASA has developed capabilities to measure and provide useful information for all components of Earth's freshwater resources worldwide," Michael Freilich, director of NASA's Earth Science Division in Washington, said. "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."

California Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. has declared a drought state of emergency and directed state officials to take all necessary actions to prepare for water shortages in 2014.

Officials said they welcomed a chance to work with NASA.

"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," Jeanine Jones, DWR Interstate Water Resources Manager, said.

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