Soil moisture is a critical land surface variable, and an accurate depiction of soil moisture conditions can provide valuable insights for agricultural monitoring, weather prediction, and drought and flood early warning. The United States has a prolific but disconnected collection of in situ (“in place,” i.e., in-ground) soil moisture monitoring networks at the national, state, and local levels, as well as various satellite and modeling efforts that generate soil moisture data. The absence of coordination leads to a host of problems, including many states lacking adequate monitoring, multiple datasets that are not standardized or directly comparable, and lack of clarity around how to target investments to improve the overall monitoring infrastructure. National coordination is needed to guide network deployment, data integration, and user-focused product development.
Working with the USDA and other partners, NIDIS is leading the effort to establish the National Coordinated Soil Moisture Monitoring Network (NCSMMN): a multi-agency, multi-institutional initiative to integrate soil moisture data from around the country and to capitalize on its transformative potential for a wide range of applications across sectors of the economy.
For more information, please contact Marina Skumanich, NIDIS Soil Moisture Program Specialist.
What Is the NCSMMN?
The National Coordinated Soil Moisture Monitoring Network (NCSMMN) aims to deliver high-quality, easy-to-understand soil moisture products and tools to support better hazard early warning systems; reduce risks from hazards such as drought, flood, and fire; improve crop production and resilience; and improve characterization of water budgets and climate models.
Want to become a part of the National Coordinated Soil Moisture Monitoring Network Community?