Related Resource

Integrating Multiscale Observations of U.S. Waters (November 2007)

Report in Brief

Water is essential to life for humans and their food crops, and for ecosystems. Effective water management requires tracking the inflow, outflow, quantity and quality of ground-water and surface water, much like balancing a bank account. Currently, networks of ground-based instruments measure these in individual locations, while airborne and satellite sensors measure them over larger areas. Recent technological innovations offer unprecedented possibilities to integrate space, air, and land observations to advance water science and guide management decisions. This report concludes that in order to realize the potential of integrated data, agencies, universities, and the private sector must work together to develop new kinds of sensors, test them in field studies, and help users to apply this information to real problems.