NASA data used to monitor groundwater in Pakistan

MONITORING REPORT ISB: Pakistans water managers are looking to NASA satellites to help them more effectively monitor and manage water resources, thanks to a partnership with engineers and hydrologists at the University of Washington, Seattle.

Satellites up in space have the ability to look at how much water Pakistan have underground, in rivers or in the atmosphere are providing routine observations that can help policymakers and on-the-ground managers make informed decisions, said Faisal Hossain, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Washington.

From offering improved flood forecasting to indicating areas where groundwater resources are threatened, freely available satellite data can be an invaluable resource, particularly in developing countries.

After training at the University of Washington, the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources in January 2016 began using satellite data from NASAs Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, or GRACE, mission to create monthly updates on groundwater storage changes in the Indus River basin.

This will allow them to see where groundwater supplies are being depleted and where they are being adequately recharged.

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