Environmental Science and Engineering Seminar

Wednesday October 7, 2015 4:00 PM

Water, Satellites and Sustainability: The California Drought, The Global Groundwater Crisis and 21st Century Realities

Speaker: Jay Famiglietti, Department of Earth Science, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Location: South Mudd 365

As California enters its fourth year of drought, questions of future water sustainability are inevitable.  Snowpack, soil moisture, streamflow, reservoir land groundwater levels are at record lows.  Mandatory water restrictions have been implemented, statewide fines for wasting water have been authorized, and billions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs have been lost.  Enhanced monitoring and modeling of the state's dwindling water supplies can help manage what remains while looking forward to a post-drought, sustainable water future.  Here I demonstrate the role of satellite observations in comprehensive drought characterization and monitoring.  In particular I will highlight changing water supply, declining groundwater and reservoir levels, agricultural and urban stress.  The global nature of groundwater depletion, and implications for rethinking food, water and energy sustainability are discussed.

Series Environmental Science and Engineering Seminar

Contact: Kathy Young at 626-395-8732 katyoung@gps.caltech.edu