Mapping Water Use—Landsat and Water Resources in the United States

Fact Sheet 2016-3037
Prepared in cooperation with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration



Using Landsat satellite data, scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey have helped to refine a technique called evapotranspiration mapping to measure how much water crops are using across landscapes and through time. These water-use maps are created using a computer model that integrates Landsat and weather data.

Crucial to the process is the thermal (infrared) band from Landsat. Using the Landsat thermal band with its 100-meter resolution, water-use maps can be created at a scale detailed enough to show how much water crops are using at the level of individual fields anywhere in the world. 

Suggested Citation

U.S. Geological Survey, 2016, Mapping water use—Landsat and water resources in the United States (ver. 1.1, September 2019): U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2016–3037, 2 p.,

ISSN: 2327-6932 (online)

ISSN: 2327-6916 (print)

Table of Contents

  • Water-Use Mapping
  • From Daily Glimpses to Long-Term Trends
  • How Water-Use Maps Help
  • Planning Today for Water Demand Tomorrow
  • References Cited
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Mapping water use—Landsat and water resources in the United States
Series title Fact Sheet
Series number 2016-3037
DOI 10.3133/fs20163037
Edition Version 1.0: June 27, 2016; Version 1.1 September 18, 2019
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
Description 2 p.
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details