Tag Archives: glaciology

NASA Snow Mapper Reaps Big Benefits for California

Unprecedented snowpack maps from NASA’s prototype Airborne Snow Observatory mission helped water managers for 2.6 million residents of the San Francisco Bay Area achieve near-perfect water operations this summer, despite the driest year in California’s recorded history.

The high-resolution NASA snow maps of the Tuolumne River Basin in the Sierra Nevada helped optimize reservoir filling and hydroelectric generation at the Hetch Hetchy reservoir and its O’Shaughnessy Dam. This resulted in a full reservoir at the end of the snowmelt season, no water spillage, and generation of more than $3.9 million in hydropower. The NASA data helped optimize operations during the last two critical weeks of runoff. (more…)

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