This proposal aims to expand a lake and reservoir monitoring program. This program is on-line, operational, with an existing decision support system (DSS) in place. Currently the products are surface water level variations derived from the NASA/CNES Topex/Jason series of satellite radar altimetry missions (1992-present day, 10-day temporal resolution), and from the ESA ENVISAT mission (2002-present day, 35-day resolution). The primary stakeholder is the US Department of Agriculture/Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA/FAS). The FAS utilize the products within a suite of observations to determine crop production estimates that serve a variety of trade and farming-related programs. The water-level products are used for irrigation considerations and act as general indicators of high- or low-water conditions. The near real time measurements and ~20yr archive provide insight into agricultural and hydrological drought. Both have relevance to water resources management and agriculture efficiency at the national and international level. The primary objectives of Stage 1 are: 1)To improve the delivery time of products to the DSS. 2)To increase the temporal range of the current 35-day resolution products via a) the addition of the archived ESA ERS-1 and ERS-2 data sets (1994-2002), and b) the integration of new near real-time improved measurements from the ISRO/CNES SARAL mission (launch in spring 2012). 3)To improve the quality/quantity of the existing 10-day resolution NASA/CNES archive and near real time products via datum and altimetric-parameter upgrades. 4)To engage with USDA/FAS and other stakeholders on the potential for additional product-types to be utilized, linked to, or incorporated within the current system. These include the utilization of NASA satellite- and model-derived products such as streamflow, areal extent, and ground water storage variations, to aid drought assessment at the local or catchment scale. 5)To provide a Stage 2 requirements plan that will include both traditional, current and future (launch of NASA¿s Jason-3 and ESA¿s Sentinel-3 in 2013) altimetry products, as well as synergistic new product types. This proposal addresses two NASA/Decisions priority topics, i) drought assessment in support of food security and demands for irrigation water, and ii) access/availability of actionable drought information.