Using GPM Data for Water Resources, Agricultural Forecasting & Food Security
Growing human population, increased demand for water and energy, and a changing climate have contributed to concerns of how freshwater resources and food supply and production may be stressed. Both water resource managers and the agricultural community need to know the amount, distribution, timing and onset of seasonal rain and snow to prepare for freshwater shortages and forecast crop yields. Remotely sensed precipitation estimates play a key role in predicting changes in freshwater supply and agricultural forecasting. Specifically, GPM provides advance precipitation measurements on regional and global scales frequently, which allows for a better understanding of precipitation systems, water cycle variability, and freshwater availability. The Water Resources, Agricultural Forecasting and Food Security applications area encourages the use of GPM precipitation data to analyze and forecast changes that affect water resources and its subsequent impact on agricultural productivity.
GPM Data for Decision Making
Water resource managers rely on accurate precipitation measurements to monitor freshwater resources necessary for human activities including public consumption, irrigation, sanitation, mining, livestock and powering industries. GPM provides useful rainfall estimates at regional and global scales as well as frequently to help scientists understand droughts and consequent freshwater availability. Global observation of precipitation from the GPM constellation of satellites will allow scientists to better understand and predict changes in freshwater supply.
Remotely sensed precipitation estimates play a key role in monitoring and modeling efforts for organizations and companies that track food and water security. In addition to the amount and distribution of seasonal rainfall, the timing of the onset of rainfall is an important variable for early estimation of growing season outcomes like crop yield. With their global coverage, satellites can also observe the results of natural disasters such as droughts, floods, and persistent or deficient snow cover that can affect agricultural productivity. In particular, satellite precipitation estimates from GPM, combined with other environmental datasets, are used to determine the extent and availability of surface rainfall over farm and ranchland. These estimates are then used within agricultural forecast models to analyze and predict crop yield.
Climate and weather are significant factors affecting agriculture production around the world. The correlation between crop volumes and weather can result in a successful yield or a financial disaster. As a result, farmers need to be increasingly efficient in their water management practices. GPM precipitation estimates are used by private companies to define extreme precipitation thresholds to support microinsurance, providing farmers with protection against loss of or damage to crops and/or livestock.
Water & Agriculture Featured Resources
- GPM Water & Agricultural Applications One-pager (pdf)
- Applied Remote Sensing Training (ARSET) for Water Resources
- Goddard Applied Sciences Water Applications Working Group
- NASA Food Security Initiative
- NASA Applied Sciences Program Water Resources Applications
- Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) Mission