Landsat’s Role in Managing Water Resources
Water is essential for life. A third of Earth’s populace has unreliable access to clean water. With current population growth and environmental trends, the U.N. Environmental Program estimates that 1.8 billion people will face water scarcity by 2025. Water means survival for people and other species we rely upon to thrive, making proper stewardship of our water resources vital. Good decisions require good data. Since 1972 the Landsat series of satellites has been providing such data. Landsat-based decisions on how to manage limited water resources have impacted millions of people worldwide. From finding water for refugees in arid nations to reducing pollution in our national waterways, Landsat enables decisions that directly help people.
A delve into Landsat-based studies revealing the environmental impact of river mining, the decline in global lake water levels, and the risks of rising sea levels on coastal habitats. Plus, a sneak peek at what the future of the Landsat program holds with the introduction of Landsat Next.
As the world looks for sustainable solutions, a system tapping into Landsat data for water management has passed a critical test.
A new, comprehensive analysis of satellite data finds that majority of glaciers on the landmass have retreated significantly.
The Pale Blue Dot Visualization Challenge—aimed at making Earth observation data accessible to everyone—has officially kicked off.
Researchers Caution Use of Landsat’s Land-Specific Surface Reflectance Products for Long-Term Water Quality Studies
While floating algae, emergent aquatic vegetation, and historic surface scum can be tracked throughout the Landsat record, researchers warn data users that older Landsat sensors lack the precision needed to be used for water-column studies.
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.