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NASA Photos Show Dramatic Change at Shasta Lake, California’s Largest Reservoir

Pictures taken from a NASA satellite earlier this month show a big difference in the water level at Shasta Lake from just two years ago. According to NASA, the older photo shows the lake at around 40% capacity, the low water level leaving a bright outline around California’s biggest reservoir.

The East Coast Is Sinking

New satellite-based research reveals how land along the coast is slumping into the ocean, compounding the danger from global sea level rise. A major culprit: overpumping of groundwater.

US-German Satellites Show California Water Gains After Record Winter

Early data shows the greatest net gain of water over the winter in nearly 22 years, but the state’s groundwater levels still suffer from the effects of years of drought.

After years of intense drought and diminishing groundwater, California just saw its greatest year-over-year water gains in two decades, according to data from the GRACE-FO (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On) satellite mission, a partnership between NASA and the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ). This past winter’s bonanza of atmospheric rivers alleviated some of the water deficit that the state incurred during periods of drought over the last 10 years, which included the three driest years on record in California.

New ‘SWOT’ Satellite Will Track the Movement of All of Earth’s Surface Water

Technology has allowed scientists to observe water from space for the past several decades. A new satellite called Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) is scheduled to launch early Thursday morning, sending our ability to track and predict our planet’s water supply to new heights.

NASA Mission Will Measure All of the Earth’s Water

With a multi-year drought bearing down on California and the West, there’s an intense focus on nearly every drop of water. But in a few weeks, we may begin to get a history making look at where that water is and where it’s going. Not just here, but around the entire planet.

International Water Researcher Highlights Colorado Basin’s “Disappearing” Groundwater

For the past 20 years, two small satellites orbiting 250 miles above Earth have tracked a stark reality about the nation’s groundwater supplies, including across the parched Colorado River Basin: The water underground is vanishing. The NASA satellites began gathering data in 2002. Since then, Colorado River Basin groundwater has depleted much faster than water storage in the nation’s two largest reservoirs, according to research that underscores concerns about the increasingly tight water supply in the drought-stricken West.

‘It’s Getting Close’: as Megadrought Grinds on, Arizona Working to Meet Water Demands

NASA satellite photos show how drastically the water levels in Lake Powell and Lake Mead have receded in just the past few years. They demonstrate the severity of long-term drought and the challenges Arizona will face to conserve and enhance its precious water supply. Susanna Eden is the research program manager for the Water Resources Research Center at the University of Arizona.

Rainy Years Can’t Make Up for California’s Groundwater Use

Over a third of American vegetables are grown in California, largely in the state’s Central Valley. The region also produces two-thirds of the nation’s fruits and nuts. These crops—and the many Americans who produce and consume them—are heavily reliant on California’s water supply. But, given recurrent and severe droughts, the state’s groundwater supply has been strained.

Drought Makes its Home on the Range

As Tracy Schohr goes about her day, water is always on her mind. She’s thinking of it as she rides an all-terrain vehicle around the pasture, looks up hay prices and weather forecasts, and collects data on grazing and invasive weeds for a scientific study. Schohr is a rancher and farmer in Gridley, California, where her family has raised beef cattle and grown rice for six generations. She also aids in scientific research to study drought and other agricultural issues with the University of California Cooperative Extension.

Signs of Drought From Space

As Tracy Schohr goes about her day, water is always on her mind. She’s thinking of it as she rides an all-terrain vehicle around the pasture, looks up hay prices and weather forecasts, and collects data on grazing and invasive weeds for a scientific study.

Schohr is a rancher and farmer in Gridley, California, where her family has raised beef cattle and grown rice for six generations. She also aids in scientific research to study drought and other agricultural issues with the University of California Cooperative Extension.