Cumulative total freshwater losses in South America from 2002 to 2015 (in inches) observed by NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) mission. Total water refers to all of the snow, surface water, soil water and groundwater combined. Much of the Amazon River basin experienced increasing total water storage during this time period, though the persistent Brazilian drought is apparent to the east. Groundwater depletion strongly impacted total water losses in the Guarani aquifer of Argentina and neighboring countries. Significant water losses due to the melting ice fields of Patagonia are also observed.
GRACE is a collaborative endeavor involving the Center for Space Research at the University of Texas, Austin; NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.; the German Space Agency and Germany's National Research Center for Geosciences, Potsdam.