NASA, California Partner Up To Tackle Drought

NASA, California Partner Up To Tackle Drought

California's drought is getting downright scary - so much so, NASA is now involved.

In a statement, NASA explained it's partnering up with California's Department of Water Resources to share satellite and weather data with farmers.

The state will use images from two NASA satellites expected to launch into orbit this year - one that measures precipitation and another that monitors soil moisture levels.

And in an effort to predict when California will get much-needed rain and asses water resources, NASA will measure massive flows of vapor in the atmosphere known as "atmospheric rivers."

And NASA's Airborne Snow Observatory is pitching in, too - it's partnered with the state to measure snowpack levels in the Sierra Nevada - one of California's biggest water resources.

An official from the state's Water Resources Department told reporters: "It sounds like a cliche, but if they could put a man on the moon, why can't we get better seasonal forecasting?"

The state's governor, Jerry Brown, declared a state of emergency last month. California has seen about 20 percent less precipitation this year than normal. As the country's top agricultural producer, the drought's expected to cost California at least $5 billion in lost revenue.

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