Landsat’s Critical Role in Water Management
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.
Lidar measurements of surface water level combined with Landsat-based surface water maps have enabled the first quantification of how humans impact the water cycle.
Vegetation cover along the Kuiseb River in the Namib Desert has increased over the last 35 years, Landsat has helped show.
Australia’s natural resource regulator uses drones and satellite imagery to monitor water use and compliance with their water laws across New South Wales to ensure our water resources are protected for generations to come.
Connecting The Drops: Managing the Navajo Nation’s Water Resources with Satellites and Indigenous Knowledge
The NASA-funded Navajo Nation Drought Project has built a cloud-based web application that uses Landsat and Sentinel-2 data, among others, to improve drought reporting and management in the Navajo Nation.