Freshwater Availability Toolkit

Water is the fundamental ingredient for life on Earth. You can find it in the atmosphere above us, in the ocean, rivers and lakes around us, and in the rocks below us. Of all of the water on Earth, 97% is saltwater, leaving a mere 3% as freshwater, approximately 1% of which is readily available for our use. The world’s population is becoming more and more reliant on this precious resource for power, irrigation, industrial practices, and daily consumption.

Sensors on a suite of NASA satellites observe and measure freshwater resources, including rainfall, snow and ice, rivers and lakes, groundwater, soil moisture, and water quality. These measurements are important to understanding the availability and distribution of Earth's water, which is both vital to life and vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and a growing world population.

Discover and Visualize Data

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Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission data from Earthdata Search. Earthdata Search is a data discovery and data access application that enables access to the NASA Earth Observing System Data and Applications System (EOSDIS) Earth science data across the Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs).
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Groundwater

Groundwater storage around the world is on the decline, largely as a response to human consumption, primarily from irrigation. Understanding our impacts on this resource provides for better management and sustainable use.

Webinars

Data Tutorials/Recipes

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Rainfall

Measuring rainfall helps advance our understanding of Earth's water cycle, improving forecasts of extreme events such as flooding, landslides, and drought. Knowing when, where, and how much rain will fall improves crop forecasts and can benefit agriculture.

Webinars

Data Tutorials/Recipes

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Rivers and Lakes

The amount of water in our rivers and lakes is important in assessing water availability and in preparing for possible water-related events, such as floods and drought.

Webinars

Data Tutorials/Recipes

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Soil Moisture

Understanding soil moisture aids in improving weather forecasts, monitoring drought, predicting floods, and assessing agricultural needs.

Webinars

Data Tutorials/Recipes

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Snow and Ice

Most freshwater is frozen in glaciers, snow, ice caps, and ice sheets. Approximately one-sixth of Earth’s population is dependent upon freshwater output from this seasonal snowpack and glacial ice melt for daily use. Both seasonal and long-term changes to snow cover and ice can impact the amount of freshwater that is available.

Snow and Snow Cover

Land Ice

Snow Water Equivalent (SWE)

Webinars

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Water Quality

Healthy water is essential to support and sustain life. Water quality can be monitored in a variety of ways, but through satellite remote sensing, the primary way is through ocean color, which is impacted by chlorophyll content, sediment, and dissolved organic matter.

Webinars

Data Tutorials/Recipes

Last Updated
Feb 12, 2021