When Will California Have Its Next Drought? JPL May Soon Offer a Water Crystal Ball

A new satellite by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory will soon provide more precise — and vital — data on how much water is available on Earth’s surface, allowing better forecasts for extreme weather conditions such as droughts and floods, and helping water resources managers and farmers to get a better picture of their water budget.

The international Surface Water and Ocean Topography or SWOT mission was launched in December 2022 from Vandenberg Space Force Base atop a Falcon 9 rocket.

How Much Water Flows From the Sierra to the Central Valley? NASA Reveals

Experts from NASA say a previously unmeasured underground source accounts for about 10% of all the water that enters the highly-productive Central Valley farmland each year.

The NASA study shows an average of four million acre-feet of water is delivered through the soil and fractured rocks under California’s Sierra Nevada mountains to the Central Valley annually.