LOS ANGELES, June 8 (Xinhua) -- NASA data showed California had the greatest net gain of water over the winter in nearly 22 years. However, it is not enough to make up for years of extreme drought and extensive groundwater use, the agency said on Wednesday.
After years of intense drought and diminishing groundwater, California just saw its greatest year-over-year water gains in two decades, according to data from the GRACE-FO (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On) satellite mission, a partnership between NASA and the German Research Centre for Geosciences.
This past winter's bonanza of atmospheric rivers alleviated some of the water deficit that California incurred during periods of drought over the last 10 years, which included the three driest years on record in California.
But the state's groundwater levels still suffer from the effects of years of drought.
"One good winter of rain and snow won't make up for years of extreme drought and extensive groundwater use," said Felix Landerer, GRACE-FO project scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.
The team will continue to track how California's water storage evolves through the summer after the snowpack melts and water levels in the state's lakes, rivers, and reservoirs start to recede during drier weather.