NASA is tracking California's drought with satellites

Last year was the driest for most of California since record-keeping began in 1849. That’s caused stress for farmers, state officials, and the federal government, which has lined up aid packages and legislation to bolster drought-related relief. Now California’s Department of Water Resources and NASA are partnering to track weather and geological features, part of an effort to gain more insight into the state’s weather patterns, and possibly its future.

NASA scientists have begun deploying satellites and other advanced technology to help California water officials assess the state’s record drought and better manage it, officials said Tuesday. The California Department of Water Resources has partnered with NASA to use the space agency’s satellite data and other airborne technology to better measure the snowpack, groundwater levels and predict storms. “It sounds like a cliche, but if they could put a man on the moon, why can’t we get better seasonal forecasting?” Jeanine Jones of the state’s Department of Water Resources said in an interview following the Sacramento announcement of the partnership.

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