Because changes in reservoir volume impact the surface area of reservoirs, Landsat imagery was used to estimate the change in surface area from August 2011 to August 2014 for two of California’s largest reservoirs: Shasta Reservoir and Trinity Lake, both located about 170 miles northwest of Sacramento, CA. The outlets of the two reservoirs are located approximately 15 miles apart. These reservoirs provide water for irrigation, hydroelectric power, and flood control.
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+ California drought, visualized with open data
Safeguarding freshwater resources is crucial, and while scientists use a variety of ground-based techniques to gauge water quality, the Landsat program has provided water quality data from orbit for decades.