Text on this page is printable and can be used according to our Terms of Service. Measuring rainfall helps advance our understanding of Earth's water cycle, improving forecasts of extreme events such as flooding, landslides, and drought. If a media asset is downloadable, a download button appears in the corner of the media viewer. Privacy Notice |  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. Both seasonal and long-term changes to snow cover and ice can impact the amount of freshwater that is available. An Ecologist’s Guide to Working with Daymet and other NetCDF-formatted Data, Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) and Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Precipitation Products and Services at GES DISC, Daymet Single Pixel Data Extraction—Web Services, How to Import MERRA Surface Product Data into ArcGIS, How to Obtain Data for Conducting Hurricane Case Study, How to Import Modern-Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA) Surface Product Data into ArcGIS, Sentinel-1 and Phased-Array L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (PALSAR) Recipes for Mapping Inundation, Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 (AMSR2) surface rain rate data in Worldview, Soil Moisture Data at NASA's National Snow and Ice Data Center DAAC (NSIDC DAAC), NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) Mission Data Products, Download and Visualize SMAP Data using Python, Learn how to Search, Order, and Customize SMAP Data using Earthdata Search, Discovering and Differentiating Data with NSIDC Search, Operation IceBridge Come Discover a Decade of Polar Data, Water Quality Data at NASA's Ocean Biology DAAC (OB.DAAC), Bio-Optical in situ Data Discovery and Access with the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) Bio-optical Archive and Storage System (SeaBASS), Discover NASA Ocean Color Data, Services and Tools, SeaWiFS Data Analysis System (SeaDAS)—Enabling the Study of our Planet from Space, Tools and Concepts in SeaDAS (Case Study: Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies), Agriculture and Water Resources Pathfinder, Discover and Access NASA's Earth Science Data with Earthdata Search, Create Difference Maps for NASA Data with Giovanni, Panoply, and Excel, Rapid Assessment of Hazard Impacts - NASA SEDAC Hazard Mapper, MODIS Subsetting Tools and Services at ORNL DAAC. However, not all communities have access to the same kinds of resources in the same amounts. Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission data from Earthdata Search. Sustainability Policy |  The EOSDIS Worldview mapping application provides the capability to interactively browse global, full-resolution satellite imagery layers. For instance, while many countries have systems in place to treat and distribute clean drinking water, in many other countries around the globe, communities may only have access to untreated or contaminated water. The Water Resources Mission Area creates a wide variety of spatial products from GIS datasets, online mappers and decision-support tools, data visualizations, and traditional static maps. You can find it in the atmosphere above us, in the ocean, rivers and lakes around us, and in the rocks below us. Access to fresh water is essential for life. Water is the fundamental ingredient for life on Earth. Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission data from Earthdata Search, Groundwater Data at NASA's Alaska Satellite Facility Distributed Active Archive Center (ASF DAAC), Groundwater Data at NASA's Oak Ridge National Laboratory DAAC (ORNL DAAC), Groundwater Data at NASA's Physical Oceanography DAAC (PO.DAAC), Groundwater Data at NASA's Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC), Data Access and Visualization of Model Data at NASA's Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (GES DISC). The audio, illustrations, photos, and videos are credited beneath the media asset, except for promotional images, which generally link to another page that contains the media credit. Understanding the distribution of resources around the world helps us understand regional and global economies, and helps us think critically about how to make sure that all communities have the resources they need to thrive. Code of Ethics. Any interactives on this page can only be played while you are visiting our website. 5. Our Twitter feed cannot load right now. If no button appears, you cannot download or save the media. The Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) offers a wide variety of freely and openly available data that can be used to evaluate freshwater availability, hydrology, and the movement of Earth’s water between the atmosphere, the ocean, and land. Have students launch the Availability of Fresh Water interactive. You cannot download interactives. National Geographic Headquarters Anne Nolin studies mountain ecosystemsDr. The habitats that freshwater ecosystems provide consist of lakes, rivers, ponds, wetlands, streams, and springs. Dr. Faisal Hossain studies ways to improve water management and accelerate economic development in Asia and Southeast Asia.Dr. A map showing freshwater availability in countries around the world. All rights reserved. Terms of Service |  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. Many natural resources that are very common in one part of the world are almost nonexistent in others. 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. Eric Sproles studies water’s eco-social effects.Ben Holt studies polar sea ice, coastal oceanography, and marine pollutionBridget Seegers develops new ways to study water quality and track harmful algal blooms David Mocko uses land-surface models to study droughtDr. ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station (ECOSTRESS): NASA's Next-Generation Mission to Measure Evapotranspiration from the International Space Station, Making Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Data Accessible- New Sensors, Tools and Services, Working with ECOSTRESS Evapotranspiration Data, Rain Data at NASA's Global Hydrology Resources Center DAAC (GHRC DAAC), Data Access and Visualization of Model Data at GES DISC, NetCD-what? Check out these ideas for how your students can learn more about freshwater and how to conserve this precious resource. The Earth Observing System Data and Information System offers a wide variety of freely and openly available data that can be used to evaluate freshwater availability, hydrology, and the movement of Earth’s water between the atmosphere, the ocean, and land. Groundwater storage around the world is on the decline, largely as a response to human consumption, primarily from irrigation. Joan Ramage studies glaciers and snowmeltDr. Students discuss what freshwater is and use maps to predict and identify places around the world where it is scarce. 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. The world’s population is becoming more and more reliant on this precious resource for power, irrigation, industrial practices, and daily consumption. Visualization of the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 (AMSR2) surface rain rate data in Worldview. The Rights Holder for media is the person or group credited. Gina Henderson studies the connections between tropical and Arctic weather and climateDr. © 1996 - 2020 National Geographic Society. Everyone around the globe relies on natural resources to support their lives as well as their local and national economies. If you have questions about licensing content on this page, please contact ngimagecollection@natgeo.com for more information and to obtain a license. They read about the role of water use and consumption in the generation of electricity.

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