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A Strategy for the National Coordinated Soil Moisture Monitoring Network

Document Author
Executive Committee of the National Coordinated Soil Moisture Monitoring Network
Document Date
Document Type
Strategic Plans
Document Description

The National Coordinated Soil Moisture Monitoring Network (NCSMMN) is a collaborative effort among federal agencies, soil moisture scientists, state mesonet operators, and others to plan for and support nationally-coordinated soil moisture monitoring, data assimilation, and product development.  As a key milestone of this effort, and in direct response to the requirement in the NIDIS Reauthorization Act of 2018 (P.L. 115-423) for a national soil moisture strategy, NIDIS and its partners prepared this document, with the goal of identifying a roadmap forward and the resources needed to implement a coordinated national network that will provide high-quality, nationwide soil moisture information for the public good.

The NCSMMN Strategy includes: a summary of current in situ networks, as well as remote sensing and modeling data resources; a discussion of network design considerations; guidance for in situ network installation and quality assurance/control; and considerations and recommendations for strategy implementation.  The following nine recommendations are detailed as a part of the strategy:

  1. Determine a home agency and management structure for the NCSMMN.
  2. Establish a web presence and formalize communication and outreach planning for the NCSMMN.
  3. Formalize partnerships with the National Mesonet Program and existing monitoring networks.
  4. Develop a set of criteria for high-quality data sources.
  5. Support research necessary to develop or improve NCSMMN methodologies.
  6. Increase in situ soil moisture monitoring nationwide.
  7. Explore increasing partnerships with the private sector.
  8. Engage with the citizen science community.
  9. Develop, release, and promote NCSMMN products.

Or, read the executive summary.

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Report cover page for the Strategy for the National Coordinated Soil Moisture Monitoring Network