NASA snow mapper reaps big benefits for California

Snowpack maps from NASA’s Airborne Snow Observatory have helped water managers in Northern California and the Upper Colorado River Basin to more efficiently execute reservoir filling and hydroelectric generation. The project, a collaboration between NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California and the state’s Department of Water Resources, measures snow depth and snow reflectivity to assist managers in projecting runoff rates. The Airborne Snow Observatory’s supporters suggest that the tool can be used to improve water management for municipal as well as ecological purposes.

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