SDG 6 - Clean water and sanitation

SDG 6

Ensure access to water and sanitation for all

Clean, accessible water for all is an essential part of the world we want to live in. There is sufficient fresh water on the planet to achieve this. But due to bad economics or poor infrastructure, every year millions of people, most of them children, die from diseases associated with inadequate water supply, sanitation and hygiene.

Water scarcity, poor water quality and inadequate sanitation negatively impact food security, livelihood choices and educational opportunities for poor families across the world. Drought afflicts some of the world’s poorest countries, worsening hunger and malnutrition.

By 2050, at least one in four people is likely to live in a country affected by chronic or recurring shortages of fresh water.

Facts and Figures

  • 2.6 billion people have gained access to improved drinking water sources since 1990, but 663 million people are still without
  • At least 1.8 billion people globally use a source of drinking water that is fecally contaminated
  • Between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of the global population using an improved drinking water source has increased from 76 per cent to 91 per cent
  • But water scarcity affects more than 40 per cent of the global population and is projected to rise. Over 1.7 billion people are currently living in river basins where water use exceeds recharge
  • 2.4 billion people lack access to basic sanitation services, such as toilets or latrines
  • More than 80 per cent of wastewater resulting from human activities is discharged into rivers or sea without any pollution removal
  • Each day,nearly 1,000 children die due to preventable water and sanitation-related  diarrhoeal diseases
  • Hydropower is the most important and widely-used renewable source of energy and as of 2011, represented 16 per cent of total electricity production worldwide
  • Approximately 70 per cent of all water abstracted from rivers, lakes and aquifers is used for irrigation
  • Floods and other water-related disasters account for 70 per cent of all deaths related to natural disasters

Space-based technologies for SDG 6

Water conservation and management are among the most critical issues facing humankind.Space technology can help analyse global water cycles, map water courses, and monitor and mitigate the effects of floods and droughts. Since 2008, UNOOSA, together with the Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water, organizes conferences on the use of space technology for water management and this web portal is among the results of this cooperation.

Moreover, the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) is one of the Regional Support Offices of UN-SPIDER. Read more here.

 

 

SDG 6 Targets

Learn more about the SDGs

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Interview with Dr Khalid Mahmood, Assistant Professor at the University of the Punjab

Could you describe your professional career and/or personal experiences related to space technology and water? Where does your interest in those sectors come from?

I started my research career in 2013, with research interests revolving around various environmental concerns that were deeply rooted in water related issues of Pakistan. Having an educational background in Space Science, it was quite intuitive to possess understanding of the very high potential of applicability of Geospatial technologies in the water sector.

Interview with Ioana Popescu, Associate Professor of Hydroinformatics at IHE Delft Institute for Water Education

Please describe how your professional (and/or personal) experience relates to space technologies and their applications to water resources management.

I am an expert in hydroinformatics, mainly involved in research projects and research supervision of MSc and PhD students. My research focusses on physically based models for inland waters (rivers and lakes). One of the major fields where modelling is used in water resources is flooding. In order to have adequate representation of floods, most models require large amounts of data, both for model building and model usage.

Interview with Nidhi Nagabhatla, Program/Cluster Lead (Nature, Climate and Health) at United Nations University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU CRIS)

You are currently a Senior Fellow and Cluster Coordinator: Nature, Climate, and Health at UNU – CRIS, can you elaborate on your role, and how it relates to water?

The world faces big problems like climate change, water shortages, and health issues. At UNU CRIS, our Nature, Climate, and Health Cluster studies how these problems are linked. We see that climate change makes things like water and food scarce, which hurts people's health. Our research shows how climate change affects water, food, and health security.

Interview with Prof. Hesham El-Askary

Prof. Hesham El-Askary works at Chapman University in the Earth Systems Science Data Solutions (ESsDs) lab. Here, he supervises students on the use of satellite earth observations for topics including agriculture, water resources, air quality and climate action, and makes use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). Prof. El-Askary is researching natural and anthropogenic pollution’s influence on the environment and is particularly interested in the concept of “glocal” impact—how what’s happening globally in terms of climate affects us locally. He believes that one of the biggest challenges in implementing sustainable water management is the lack of data to monitor progress, and advocates for space technologies to mitigates this shortage.  

Interview with Dr. Pietro Campana

Dr. Pietro Campana studied environmental engineering with a focus on fluid dynamics, hydrology, and water resource management, before undertaking a PhD on solar irrigation systems. He is working on the water-food-energy nexus and is currently evaluating the first agrivoltaic system (a photovoltaic system that allows the combination of both electricity production and crop production on the same land to increase the land use efficiency) in Sweden. He constantly strives to work on something that can make a difference to people’s lives and finds developing tools and services that can solve water issues very exciting. He believes that to address the nexus challenges, we need novel technologies and more research and development funding.

Interview with Simonetta di Pippo

Simonetta di Pippo, Director of UNOOSA, has experience in the space sector for around 40 years. She has been involved in some very instrumental missions, from those which helped to discover water on Mars, to landing on and exploring a comet, to those that helped sustain human life on the ISS. Her aspiration in life is to have a profession that allows her to work and learn at the same time, with her current career affording her this dream. Curiosity and diversity are both crucial in her opinion for innovation and it is her personal and professional goal to encourage more women to pursue STEM education and careers.

Interview with Mr Stuart Crane, Programme Management Officer at UN Environment

Mr Stuart Crane, has been program coordinator at the United Nations Environment Program and its Center for Water and Environment since 2017. Mr Crane has experience in international intergovernmental organizations since 2009 and dedicated large parts of his career to working on environmental issues such as energy, climate change and water. His professional background is in Environmental Quality and resource management, and he received his post graduate degree in International Development. On behalf of UNEP, he coordinates a global SDG 6 fresh water program that supports 193 countries with progressing towards SDG. 6 targets on improving the water governance, ecosystem management and reducing freshwater pollution.

Interview with Prof. Rita Colwell

Prof. Rita Colwell’s career has been dedicated to providing safe water to rural communities, with a focus on cholera, after studying marine microbiology. Through her work, she and her team developed a model that employs satellite sensing to monitor the environmental factors associated with cholera. Prof. Colwell is also Director of the National Science Foundation and is a proponent of an educated society and increasing the number of women and minorities in STEM. For her, the most exciting aspect of her current work is assisting countries such as Yemen in predicting the risk of cholera outbreaks, however she believes one challenge that remains is the poor understanding of how effective the use of satellite sensos are for predicting the risk of such water borne diseases.

Interview with Dr. Sherine Ahmed El Baradei

The following interview with Dr. Sherine Ahmed El Baradei is focusing on water quality and its relation to space technology. Water is the essence of life. Thus preservation of water quality is of a big concern to human health and to fauna and flora in water bodies. The interview explains what is water quality and what are water quality parameters of water bodies. Furthermore, the importance of using space technologies and applications in contributing to water quality monitoring and determination of hydraulic and hydrologic conditions is thoroughly discussed. For example, temporal resolution of satellites and their role in obtaining accurate imaging and data is clarified and the satellites concerned with water quality monitoring are pointed out. Considering the important role of groundwater in arid regions, the use of GRACE Mission data in Egypt is mentioned. Moreover, key influences on water quality in Egypt are discussed and the relation of water quality to water scarcity in the country and ways to preserve water quality is being discussed. Furthermore, the potential of space-based monitoring used to address water issues from hydrological to water resources issues in the country or region is pointed out. The challenges of the use of space technology for hydrology and water-related topics in the MENA region is also discussed. Light is shed on the project done by NASA to recycle astronauts’ waste into energy and power. Sustainability is of a great importance to or communities, and thus it is discussed how sustainable it is to build cities in the desert, or to divert water to where people are instead of moving people to existing water sources. Finally, a discussion about ways we can employ to improve awareness and capacity building on the use of space technology for water and challenges in this field are discussed.

Interview with Basuti Gerty Bolo

Basuti Gerty Bolo dreamt of space science and of becoming an astronaut when she was only 8 years old. She then wanted to be a pilot, before studying space applications and space and atmospheric science.  Her curiosity for space science was sparked by an interest in knowing more about unexplained mysteries of things happening in space, such as the cause of some plane crashes. Basuti works exceptionally hard to disseminate space knowledge. She is an Endowed Chair for Educational Technologies at Africa University in Zimbabwe, a UNOOSA Space for Women Network mentor, and is starting a space for women and girls network called Space4Women_AfricaDreamers to spread space awareness and promote gender equality.

Interview with Egline Tauya, Head of the Environment and Water Institute at SARDC

Egline Tauya has focussed her career on natural resource management, after growing up in a rural area and learning to value such resources from a young age. Her work has been based in Africa and has included the use space technologies to map flood risks and vulnerable areas around the Zambezi and Limpopo River basins. Egline develops Environmental Outlooks as part of her work, which are reports that provide an integrated assessment of the state and trends of key environmental resources, such as freshwater, forest, and wildlife. Egline strongly believes in the integration of indigenous knowledges into water resource management and the crucial, but currently limited use of remote sensing in groundwater monitoring.

Interview with Prof. Emerita Kristine M. Larson

Prof. Larson’s career has been focussed on using the Global Positioning System, and more recently using GPS to measure hydrological parameters, such as water levels in lakes, rivers, and the ocean, soil water content, and the depth of snow. To innovate, she Emerita believes a willingness to be different is key. She feels strongly about bringing space technologies closer to people by communicating better the important role that space technologies play and by making measurements from satellites easier for people to access.

Interview with Assoc. Prof. Susanne Schmeier

Prof. Susanne Scheier’s interest in water diplomacy, conflict and cooperation came from a long passion for water and the environment due to a love of the outdoors and being close to rivers and mountains as a teenager. She now uses her passion in her work, identifying and responding to challenges around shared water resources. She uses space technologies in her work with the Water, Peace and Security (WSP) partnership to identify hotspots of potential water-related conflicts early on and to raise political awareness with policy-makers.

Interview with Dr. Shimrit Maman, Senior Scientist at the Goldman Sonnenfeldt School of Sustainability and Climate Change

How do you personally and professionally relate to water? 

Growing up in Israel, water scarcity was a constant backdrop to my childhood. The arid climate and frequent droughts shaped my relationship with water from an early age. One vivid memory that remains stamped in my mind is the series of TV campaigns highlighting the importance of water conservation. I recall sitting in front of the television, concerned by the urgency conveyed in those campaigns. The images of dry landscapes and the emphasis on every drop of water as precious left a lasting impression.

Pénuries d'Eau en Milieu Urbain : Comment les Données de la Mission GRACE-FO de la NASA Peuvent-Elles Soutenir la Gestion de l'Eau en Temps Quasi-Réel ?

Plus la population augmente, plus la demande en eau augmente, notamment l'eau nécessaire aux usages domestiques, industriels et municipaux (Mogelgaard 2011). L'Inde en est un bon exemple : le 20 juin 2019, la ville de Chennai a failli manquer d'eau. Des images satellites ont montré l'ampleur de la pénurie d'eau dans la ville (schéma 1). Alors que les habitants faisaient la queue pour de l'eau stockée dans des camions-citernes qui la rendaient disponible dans la ville, le véritable défi de gestion concernait les bâtiments municipaux et les entreprises de la ville. La pénurie d´eau a gravement affecté la capacité des hôpitaux à soigner les patients et à nettoyer les équipements, et a contraint les entreprises à fermer leurs portes jusqu'à la fin de la crise.

Climate change, dam collapses and water-borne disease: devastation in Libya caused by Storm Daniel

On September 10th of 2023, Storm Daniel made landfall in northeastern Libya, bringing torrential levels of rain and strong winds (Figure 1). This onslaught of rain caused two big dams in the region to break – the Abu Mansour dam and the Derna dam, 75 metres and 45 metres tall respectively. It is believed that the Abu Mansour dam broke first, after its reservoir was filled beyond capacity. The dam collapsed and sent a rush of water towards the Derna dam further downstream (Figure 2).

Real-time drought monitoring from Climate Hazards group Infrared Precipitation with Stations (CHIRPS)

Different parts of world are experiencing extreme hydrological hazards such as droughts, flooding and other related events. Droughts are associated with absence of rainfall occurrence over an extended period. According to the United Nations (2022), the frequency and intensity of drought events in the last two decades has increased by 29%. These figures are expected to increase further in the coming years due to climate change (Gunathilake et al., 2020). 

The impact of space-based internet communications constellations on water

Imagine a world where your internet is delivered not through cables or cell towers but a vast swarm of orbiting satellites. That world is a very different place. Political borders are no longer communication boundaries. Your phone works just as well in the US as it does in Nigeria and Australia and Cambodia. You can communicate with people on the other side of the planet near the physical limits of information transmission, unconstrained by slow cable networks.

Aquaporine: Combattre la Crise Globale d'Eau en Utilisant le Filtre de la Nature

Une nouvelle technologie de traitement de l'eau utilisée par les astronautes à bord de la Station spatiale internationale pourrait fournir de l'eau propre à des millions de personnes dans le monde. En utilisant des protéines appelées aquaporines, ce système imite les capacités naturelles de filtration des reins humains et des racines des plantes pour purifier et recycler les eaux usées. Face à la demande mondiale croissante en eau, en particulier dans les régions reculées où l'eau potable n'est pas facilement accessible, cette technologie pourrait constituer une méthode de purification de l'eau plus économe en ressources, non seulement dans l'espace, mais aussi sur Terre.

Water Quality Indicators – an Overview

Clean drinking water is a precious resource. It is the basis of our daily life and decides like no other substance about our health and well-being. It is therefore important to ensure that the water for everyday use meets the highest quality criteria. But what is meant by the term water quality and how can water quality be measured and compared? This question will be addressed and explained in more detail in the following sections.

Utilizando tecnologías espaciales para monitorear la contaminación marina por petróleo

Oil spills are a critical form of environmental pollution that have far-reaching negative impacts. They severely degrade marine ecosystems, introducing toxic chemicals into the oceans and harming sea life. They also have significant financial impacts through the diminishment of ecotourism as well as the killing of commercially viable species. Despite these negative impacts, oil spills are notoriously difficult to track and monitor given the general lack of surveillance over the vastness of the Earth’s oceans. Space-based technologies are evolving as a tool to aid in the detection of oil spills worldwide. Two primary technologies have been optimized for oil spill monitoring: optical satellite imagery and synthetic aperture radar (SAR). Optical satellite imagery functions somewhat like taking a photograph of the Earth’s surface and requires clear skies and daylight to produce imagery. SAR imagery, on the other hand, relies on microwaves to produce images, and therefore can function regardless of weather, as well as at night. The combination of these two technologies has allowed scientists an increased ability to monitor where and when oil pollution is happening, providing an eye-in-the-sky to survey marine activities. While these space-based technologies are aiding in the detection of a variety of oil spill incidents, they are particularly helpful to monitor the illegal dumping of oil and effluent from shipping vessels as ships are no longer able to dump oily bilgewater into the ocean under the veil of darkness. Unfortunately, the enforcement of environmental and marine law remains an issue and ships are rarely prosecuted. It will be important for space-based technologies to continue to evolve and provide evidence of marine pollution in the effort to provide protection for Earth’s marine ecosystems.

Mapping and Monitoring Irrigated Agriculture from Space

Irrigation illustrates a major dilemma of agriculture: On the one hand, a growing world population demands more food and biomass (for example for energy production). On the other hand, natural resources such as water are only available in limited quantities and excessive use often leads to the degradation of ecosystems, which in turn has adverse effects on agricultural production and local livelihoods.

Spin-off technologies for water

Have you ever considered how technological innovations from the space industry can benefit us here on Earth? You might be surprised to hear that non-space applications from space programmes are extensive.

Exploring the exciting potential of hyperspectral imaging for water quality monitoring

Harmful Algal Blooms occur when toxin-producing algae experience excessive growth within bodies of water. These blooms have the potential to cause detrimental effects on both aquatic and human health and can sometimes even cause death, depending on the type of algae involved (NIEHS, 2021). Thanks to the use of space-based remote sensing technology to monitor water quality conditions in coastal areas and drinking water reservoirs, nations are becoming more aware of the quality of their water.

Space Technology: A Tool for Epidemiology

Epidemiological mapping has been used for centuries. To give an example, John Snow, the father of epidemiology, created a map to determine the cause of the 1845 cholera outbreak in London, United Kingdom. The mapping allowed him to discover contaminated water as the source of the outbreak.

L’importance des technologies spatiales pour quantifier la disponibilité en eau douce à l’échelle mondiale

De nos jours, la société fait face à de nombreuses pénuries de ressources. Alors que la rareté des minéraux de la Terre et l’épuisement des combustibles fossiles figurent parmi les problèmes les plus cités à cet égard, nous risquons de connaitre un sort plus imminent et destructeur : une crise mondiale d’eau douce. La sous-estimation de ce problème par notre société a intensifié notre relation précaire avec l'eau et a mis en péril les moyens de subsistance de nombreuses personnes.

Water management in local communities led by women

When we think about geospatial technology, many of us imagine satellites for Earth observation and navigation, drones, and complex sensors used to collect information from the terrestrial surface. We also believe that most of the people capable of developing applications using geospatial data should hold a science-related Master or Ph.D. degree. The previous statement could not be further from the truth. Advances in technology have made access to geospatial technology possible for everybody.  

Space technology observing the effects of forests on watersheds

Have you ever heard the phrase "All the rivers run into the sea"? In most cases, this statement holds, with one exception: rivers that end up in lakes. If you imagine mountain ranges as the walls of a bathtub, the ocean is like the bottom of the bathtub, collecting all the water from the bathtub. No matter where you live, you inhabit a land area where all the water, above and below ground, converges into a common body of water (Figure 1). We call this area a watershed. Watersheds vary in size.

Monitoring River Delta Using Remote Sensing

Since ancient times, people have established communities in river deltas because it provides water, fertile land, and transportation access, making them an ideal place to live. This pattern has been carried forward to the present. With nearly 6 billion people living in river deltas, they are one of the most densely populated places on Earth (Kuenzer and Renaud, 2011). However, they are facing threats such as climate change, sea level rise, land use changes, and ecosystem degradation.

Monitoring hydrological changes from space in a sparse gauged basin

Africa is endowed with abundant freshwater resources. It has sufficient rainfall and relatively low levels of water withdrawals for three major uses: domestic, agricultural and industrial uses. Changes in Africa’s water resources has been noticed transpiring in changes in water flow and variability, falling groundwater levels, changes in rainfall levels and timing, strongly influenced under climate change. The continent has a huge potential for energy production through hydropower.

Can space technologies help improve WASH provision in camps and informal settlements?

The Human Right to water and sanitation

What does your morning routine look like? For most readers I’d assume you use the toilet, wash your hands, and maybe take a shower.  However, do you ever stop to consider the water you use to shower, or the soap you use to wash your hands? Often, especially in developed countries, these things are taken for granted, rightly considering access to adequate water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) as basic Human Rights (Figure 1).

Indigenous women’s practices in mapping water locations and the role of indigenous groups in shaping earth observation applications

In many communities around the world, water is a constant chore. The short supply and limited access to running water requires people to move places looking for resources, collecting them and bringing it home in gallons, buckets and large pans. And in many communities around Africa, women take this responsibility such as in the Samburu tribe in Kenya. For women of this tribe, this chore is a daily routine.

The water cycle from space: the central role of satellite-informed models in corporate water management

Water in the atmosphere, in the soil, in rivers and oceans is in continuous exchange via the global water cycle. This is commonly thought to be the circular movement of water that evaporates from the Earth's surface, rises on warm updrafts into the atmosphere, and condenses into clouds. It is transported by the wind as water vapour, and eventually falls back to the Earth’s surface as rain or snow.

Global Precipitation Mission: Improved, accurate and timely global precipitation information

Continuous and reliable global precipitation information is crucial for myriad of weather, climate and hydrological applications. The importance of precipitation in the form of rain, hail, sleet, snow etc. is known to science and clear to a layman. However, it’s quite tricky to measure past precipitation trends or predicting accurate future forecasts. There are three main categories of precipitation data sets available: ground based, satellite-based and blended products of ground and space data (Climate Data Guide, 2014).

Earth observation data cubes for water resources management

Data has become one of the most valuable resources of the 21st century. Indeed, data can be considered the most important input when it comes to make informed decisions. The recent global pandemic crisis highlighted the vital role of data for reporting accurate case numbers and outbreaks, identifying the most vulnerable demographics, and understanding the most effective vaccines, to mention few. Data also plays a key role when it comes to sustainability.

Monitoring runoff using Earth observation data

When rain falls on Earth, the water starts moving and flowing downhill through sewers and rivers as runoff. Runoff is extremely important to recharge surface water bodies and groundwater. Furthermore, runoff changes the landscape by action of erosion. It is an integral part of the water cycle (Earth Science Data Systems 2021). 

Technologies Spin-off pour l’Eau

Avez-vous déjà pensé comment les technologies innovantes utilisées dans l’industrie spatiale peuvent nous profiter sur Terre ? Vous pourriez être surpris d’apprendre que les applications non-spatiales des programmes spatiaux sont extensibles.

Space technologies in the detection, monitoring and management of groundwater

Global groundwater supplies

Groundwater accounts for 30% of Earth’s freshwater resources (Shiklomanov 1993) (Figure 1) and is estimated to globally provide 36% of potable water, 42% of irrigation water, and 24% of industrial water – indicating its significant value (Global Environment Facility 2021). Groundwater affords a host of benefits, from providing better protection against drought and microbiological contamination than surface waters, to being generally low cost and accessible to many users.

Wastewater recycling on the ISS and in Singapore

 

How would you feel about drinking your own urine? To most, it is a measure that would only be taken in the direst of circumstances. However, astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) have been drinking recycled urine every day for the past decade. In 2008, the ISS installed the Water Recovery System, a wastewater recycling device which converts urine, sweat, and atmospheric moisture into drinking water. This device has allowed the ISS to be much more self-sufficient and devices like it could serve to more sustainably produce clean water on Earth.  

Les Technologies Spatiales : un Outil pour l'Epidémiologie

Merci à Jean Francois Regis Adoupou d'avoir traduit cet article volontairement.

La cartographie épidémiologique est utilisée depuis des siècles. A titre illustratif, John Snow, le père de l'épidémiologie, a créé une carte pour déterminer la cause de l’éclosion de l'épidémie de choléra en 1845, à Londres, au Royaume-Uni. La cartographie lui a permis de découvrir que l'eau contaminée était à l’origine de l'épidémie. 

Leveraging space technologies to monitor plastic pollution in oceans

 

Several ongoing projects are trying to detect plastic pollution in oceans by using Space technology

The ocean is where life began. It is home to the majority of the Earth’s plants and animals. However, there is currently another habitant endangering all species living under and above water. Humans included. The habitant is called “Plastic”. Plastic’s largest market is packaging designed for immediate disposal (Sigogneau-Russell, 2003).

Unlocking the secrets of river health: Using remote sensing to assess environmental flow (eflow)

The term environmental flow (eflow) has recently become increasingly popular as concerns about the destruction of freshwater ecosystems and the impacts of development activities (i.e., urban development and energy production) on river have intensified. Eflow is defined as "the quantity, timing, and quality of water flows required to sustain freshwater and estuarine ecosystems,  and the human livelihoods and well-being that depend on these ecosystems" (Brisbane Declaration 2007). Alternatively, eflow is described as the foundation of water security for achieving sustainable development. Managing eflow is relevant to meet the most targets of SDG 6, but especially SDG 6.4 on water use efficiency (6.4.2 level of water stress) and SDG target 6.6 on the protection of water-dependent ecosystems. 

United Nations/Ghana/PSIPW - 5th International conference on the use of space technology for water resources management

From 10 to 13 May 2022, the United Nations Officer for Outer Space Affairs organized the 5th International conference on the use of space technology for water resources management. The conference was hosted in a hybrid format in Accra, Ghana, by the University of Energy and Natural Resources, Sunyani on behalf of the Government of Ghana. The event was attended by several senior government representatives of the host country including Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, the Honorary Minister of Education Dr.

The progress and potential of Sustainable Development Goal 6 and how Space Technologies contribute

Transitioning from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The world of WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) has come a long way in 30 years. Between 1990 and 2015, 2.6 billion people gained access to improved drinking water, whilst 2.1 billion gained access to improved sanitation (Unicef and World Health Organisation 2015). That’s a lot of people. But is it enough? 

Women, water and space: The first geospatial rally for women in rural aqueducts

Can you imagine a group of young women empowering other women using geospatial technology? From July 10 to 13 July 2019 in the First Geospatial Rally for Women in Rural Aqueducts took place, where 30 women from very different contexts met with the same goal, to build an empowering space, in the Nicoya Campus (north of Costa Rica) of the University of Costa Rica (UCR). This was done with the intention to learn from each other.

Est ce que les Technologies Spatiales Peuvent Améliorer les Provisions WASH dans les Camps et Quartiers Informels

Le droit humain à l'eau et à l'assainissement 

À quoi ressemble votre routine matinale ? Pour la plupart des lecteurs, je suppose que vous utilisez les toilettes, vous vous lavez les mains et peut-être que vous prenez une douche. Cependant, vous arrive-t-il de vous arrêter pour réfléchir à l'eau que vous utilisez sous la douche ou au savon que vous utilisez pour vous laver les mains ?

Pratiques des Femmes Autochtones dans la Cartographie des Points d'Eau et Rôle des Groupes Autochtones dans l'Elaboration des Applications d'Observation de la Terre

Merci à Maria Nagui d'avoir traduit cet article volontairement.

Dans de nombreuses communautés autour du monde, l’eau peut devenir une corvée. L’insuffisance et l’accès limité à l’eau courante obligent les déplacements à la recherche de ressources, de les collecter et les ramener à la maison à l’aide de gallons, de sceaux et de grandes casseroles. Dans des nombreuses communautés en Afrique, les femmes assument cette responsabilité, comme dans la tribu de Samburu au Kenya. Pour les femmes de cette tribu, cette tâche est une routine quotidienne.

Indicateurs de la Qualité de l'Eau - Vue d'ensemble

Merci à Denis Gringas d'avoir traduit cet article volontairement.

L'eau potable est une ressource précieuse. Elle est à la base de notre vie quotidienne et décide comme aucune autre substance de notre santé et de notre bien-être. Il est donc important de s'assurer que l'eau d'usage quotidien réponde aux critères de qualité les plus élevés. Mais que signifie le terme qualité de l'eau et comment peut-on mesurer et comparer la qualité de l'eau? Cette question sera abordée et expliquée plus en détail dans les sections suivantes.

Monitoreando la escorrentía mediante datos de observación de la Tierra

Translated by Isabel Zetina

Cuando la lluvia cae sobre la Tierra, el agua empieza a moverse y a fluir cuesta abajo a través de alcantarillas y ríos en forma de escorrentía. La escorrentía es extremadamente importante para recargar las masas de agua de la superficie y las aguas subterráneas. Además, la escorrentía modifica el paisaje por acción de la erosión. Es una parte integral del ciclo del agua (Earth Science Data Systems 2021). 

Urban Water Scarcity: How data from NASA’s GRACE-FO Mission can be used for (near) real time water management

As population becomes larger the demand for water soars, including water needed for domestic, industrial and municipal uses (Mogelgaard 2011). One example of that, is India, where on 20 June 2019 the city of Chennai almost run out of water. Satellite images show the extent of the water shortage in the city (figure 1). While people are queuing up to get water from water trucks that transfer water to the city, the greatest struggle is taking place in the city’s municipal buildings and businesses. Hospitals are facing the threat of not having enough water to treat patients and to clean equipment, and businesses are forced to shut down and wait until the crisis is over.

Exploring aquatic realms: CubeSat applications for water research

Introduction

Embarking on a new kind of adventure, scientists are using small satellites called CubeSats to explore the mysteries of water on Earth. They can help us learn more about oceans, lakes, and rivers. Water sustains all forms of life but, for something so integral to our existence, we know little about its intricate dynamics. This is where the collaboration between space technology and water research comes into play.

The advantages of applying space-based technology in monitoring and controlling water hyacinth in aquatic ecosystems

Water hyacinth is a well-known plant that has invaded many aquatic ecosystems around the globe. The fast growing nature of the weed makes it challenging to contain. The weeds’ presence in aquatic bodies results in decreased oxygen and nutrient levels, which threatens aquatic life as well as the productivity and functionality of the whole aquatic ecosystem. This not only causes ecological disturbances but evidently socio-economic challenges arise as well as the weed can be detrimental to health as well as economic activities in many riparian communities worldwide. The use of space-based technology together with modern technologies is of great significance in capturing the weed and identifying its spatial and temporal distribution even in hard to reach places. This helps scientists better understand the weed and how infestation occurs which enables better management and control of the weed.

Aquaporins: Fighting the global water crisis using nature’s own filter

A new water-treatment technology used by astronauts aboard the International Space Station has the potential to provide clean water to millions of people worldwide. By using proteins called aquaporins, this system mimics the natural filtering abilities of human kidneys and plant roots to purify and recycle wastewater. With an increasing global water demand especially in remote locations where clean drinking water is not easily accessible, this technology has the potential to provide a more resource-efficient method of water purification not only in space, but here on Earth as well.

Using space-based technologies to predict mosquito-borne disease outbreaks

Mosquitos are often cited as one of the deadliest animals in the world, causing up to one million deaths per year (WHO, 2020; CDC, 2021). They can carry and transmit a variety of diseases, including malaria, West Nile virus, dengue fever, and Zika virus; transmitting illness across the globe (Figure 1). To help decrease the burden of disease resulting from mosquitos, researchers are utilising satellite data and remote sensing models to better predict where mosquito breeding grounds may occur in the future.

Linked Data Infrastructures – a viable solution for efficient water resource management

Water challenges — ranging from lack of access to safe drinking water and sanitation services, to hydrological uncertainty and extremes such as floods and droughts, to chronic water scarcity — are perceived as some of the greatest threats to global prosperity and stability (Sadoff et al. 2014). Many of these challenges are expected to intensify as climate change unfolds and population continues to grow (World Bank, 2017). Water resources are a critical asset in any country. Therefore, their monitoring, maintenance, preservation, and use abide strict rules and regulations enforced and executed by specialized personnel. 

From Jakarta to Nusantara: Land subsidence and other pressing water challenges in a sinking mega city

Jakarta, “the sinking city”, is the current capital city of Indonesia. Located on the Java Sea, this coastal city is home to nearly 30 million people within the greater-Jakarta area. Jakarta has grappled with water management issues for decades, leading to several current day water-related crises. Access to a reliable, potable water supply is extremely limited as there is a significant disparity between those with piped water access and those without. Citizens without piped water access have consequently relied heavily on groundwater and have dug thousands of unregulated wells as a result. This has led to a second water crisis – the chronic overextraction of Jakarta’s underground aquifers. Land subsidence is of the utmost concern as this sinking city is placed at high flood risk from the surrounding ocean. Approximately 40% of Jakarta now lies below sea level as a result and predictive models suggest that the entire city will be underwater by 2050 (Gilmartin, 2019). Compounding these problems, the climate crisis has led to significant sea level rise as glaciers and ice caps continue to melt (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2019; Lindsey, 2022). As the city of Jakarta continues to sink and sea levels rise, millions of citizens within Jakarta are at extremely high risk of flooding, particularly during monsoon season. Thousands of residents have already been forced to abandon their homes in search of improved conditions and higher ground (Garschagen et al., 2018).

Use of space-based technology to search for alternate sources of water in Tharparkar

In Pakistan’s southern province, Sindh, lies the world’s only fertile desert in the world. The Tharparkar Desert stretches till the southeastern parts of Punjab, joining the Cholistan Desert. Tharparkar District is the largest of 29 districts in Sindh. According to Integrated Water Resource Management Practices to Alleviate Poverty – A Model of Desert Development in Tharparkar, Pakistan, the Thar is, people of Thar, have their livelihoods dependent on 'rainfall and livestock rearing, which is critical to household food security.'

Progrès et Potentiel de l'Objectif de Développement Durable 6 et Contribution des Technologies Spatiales

Transition des Objectifs du Millénaire pour le Développement (OMD) aux Objectifs de Développement Durable (ODD) 

Le monde de l'eau, de l'assainissement et de l'hygiène (WASH) a parcouru un long chemin en 30 ans. Entre 1990 et 2015, 2,6 milliards de personnes ont pu observer une amélioration de l’accès à l'eau potable, et 2,1 milliards ont eu une amélioration des services d’assainissement (Unicef et Organisation mondiale de la santé 2015). Cela fait beaucoup de monde. Mais est-ce suffisant ?  

Hydro-diplomacy: The role of space-derived data in advancing water security

Water scarcity is one of the greatest threats faced by humanity of our time – in 2019, more than two billion people experience high water stress (UN-Water 2019) and approximately four billion people suffer from severe water scarcity for at least one month per year (Mekonnen and Hoekstra 2016). This worsening problem increases the risk of international conflict over water resources breaking out, given that there are over 270 transboundary river basins, and three-quarters of UN Member States share at least one river or lake basin with a neighbour (UN News 2017).

Space technologies for drought monitoring and management

The impacts of climate change are ever more apparent. The frequency and scale of devastation and destruction of weather hazards are on an increasing trend. According to the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report (IPCC, 2021) climate change is intensifying the water cycle. This will cause more intense droughts in many regions. Moreover, water-related extremes impact the quality of life disproportionately strong. Drought accounts for 25% of all losses from weather-related disasters in the United States of America (Hayes et al., 2012).

Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science data for water resources management

The provision of water resources is one of the most fundamental ecosystem services . An acute scarcity of water data in both, the spatial and temporal domains in many regions prompts the urgency to assess risks related to water such as water quality decline, floods and droughts. Remote sensing does provide us with relevant data for water resources monitoring, but this data still needs to be validated with in-situ observations and measurements.

Space for Communities: Space-based evidence to support community rights to water

Satellite imagery can be used to identify and monitor environmental and social impacts, and help solve human problems around the world. Despite rapid advancements in space-based technologies, not enough people have access to satellite data and all the insights it offers. Satellite imagery provides an objective way of verifying or validating the testimony of communities who are being impacted by social or environmental harms.

Escasez urbana de agua: cómo pueden utilizarse los datos de la misión GRACE-FO de la NASA para la gestión del agua (casi) en tiempo real

As population becomes larger the demand for water soars, including water needed for domestic, industrial and municipal uses (Mogelgaard 2011). One example of that, is India, where on 20 June 2019 the city of Chennai almost run out of water. Satellite images show the extent of the water shortage in the city (figure 1). While people are queuing up to get water from water trucks that transfer water to the city, the greatest struggle is taking place in the city’s municipal buildings and businesses. Hospitals are facing the threat of not having enough water to treat patients and to clean equipment, and businesses are forced to shut down and wait until the crisis is over.

Recyclage des Eaux Usées à bord de l’ISS à Singapour

Pourriez-vous boire votre propre urine ? Pour la majorité, cette mesure ne serait prise que dans les cas les plus extrêmes. Cependant, les astronautes de la Station Spatiale Internationale (SSI ou ISS, Internationale Space Station, en anglais) boivent leur urine recyclée tous les jours depuis 10 ans. En 2008, l’SSI installe un Système de Récupération des Eaux (Water Recovery System en anglais) a bord de la station, permettant de recycler les eaux usées en transformant les urines, la sueur et l’humidité atmosphérique en eau potable.

Les Avantages de l'Application des Technologies Spatiales dans la Surveillance et le Contrôle de la Jacinthe d'Eau dans les écosystèmes aquatiques

Merci à Mussa Kachunga Stanis d'avoir traduit cet article volontairement.

La résilience d'un socio-écosystème est généralement testée par sa capacité à persister et à maintenir sa fonctionnalité tout en subissant des changements dus à des perturbations. Mais que se passe-t-il lorsque les perturbations sont trop rapides, trop préjudiciables et trop fortes pour qu'un socio-écosystème puisse maintenir sa fonctionnalité ?

Tirer Parti des Technologies Spatiales pour Surveiller la Pollution Plastique dans les Océans

Plusieurs projets en cours tentent  de détecter la pollution plastique dans les océans en utilisant la technologie spatiale.

L’océan est où la vie a commencé. Il abrite la majorité des plantes et des animaux de la Terre. Cependant, il y a actuellement un autre habitant qui met en danger toutes les espèces vivantes sous et au-dessus de l’eau, les humains inclus. Cet habitant est appelé « plastique ». Le plus grand marché du plastique est celui des emballages destinés à l’élimination immédiate (Sigogneau-Russell, 2003).

Acuaporinas: la lucha contra la crisis mundial del agua utilizando el propio filtro de la naturaleza

A new water-treatment technology used by astronauts aboard the International Space Station has the potential to provide clean water to millions of people worldwide. By using proteins called aquaporins, this system mimics the natural filtering abilities of human kidneys and plant roots to purify and recycle wastewater. With an increasing global water demand especially in remote locations where clean drinking water is not easily accessible, this technology has the potential to provide a more resource-efficient method of water purification not only in space, but here on Earth as well.

Using space-based technologies to monitor marine oil pollution

Oil spills are a critical form of environmental pollution that have far-reaching negative impacts. They severely degrade marine ecosystems, introducing toxic chemicals into the oceans and harming sea life. They also have significant financial impacts through the diminishment of ecotourism as well as the killing of commercially viable species. Despite these negative impacts, oil spills are notoriously difficult to track and monitor given the general lack of surveillance over the vastness of the Earth’s oceans. Space-based technologies are evolving as a tool to aid in the detection of oil spills worldwide. Two primary technologies have been optimized for oil spill monitoring: optical satellite imagery and synthetic aperture radar (SAR). Optical satellite imagery functions somewhat like taking a photograph of the Earth’s surface and requires clear skies and daylight to produce imagery. SAR imagery, on the other hand, relies on microwaves to produce images, and therefore can function regardless of weather, as well as at night. The combination of these two technologies has allowed scientists an increased ability to monitor where and when oil pollution is happening, providing an eye-in-the-sky to survey marine activities. While these space-based technologies are aiding in the detection of a variety of oil spill incidents, they are particularly helpful to monitor the illegal dumping of oil and effluent from shipping vessels as ships are no longer able to dump oily bilgewater into the ocean under the veil of darkness. Unfortunately, the enforcement of environmental and marine law remains an issue and ships are rarely prosecuted. It will be important for space-based technologies to continue to evolve and provide evidence of marine pollution in the effort to provide protection for Earth’s marine ecosystems.

Les Femmes, l'Eau et l'Espace : Le Premier Rallye Géospatial Dédié aux Femmes et aux Aqueducs Ruraux

Seriez-vous en mesure d´imaginer un groupe de jeunes femmes impliquées dans l´émancipation des femmes par le biais des technologies géospatiales ? Cela s´est passé du 10 au 13 juillet 2019 dans le premier rallye géospatial dédié aux femmes et aux aqueducs ruraux. Lors de cet évènement, trente femmes issues de contextes très différents se sont réunies avec le même objectif, construire un espace dédié à cette mission, sur le Campus de Nicoya (nord du Costa Rica) de l'Université du Costa Rica (UCR).

Interview with Egline Tauya, Head of the Environment and Water Institute at SARDC

Egline Tauya has focussed her career on natural resource management, after growing up in a rural area and learning to value such resources from a young age. Her work has been based in Africa and has included the use space technologies to map flood risks and vulnerable areas around the Zambezi and Limpopo River basins. Egline develops Environmental Outlooks as part of her work, which are reports that provide an integrated assessment of the state and trends of key environmental resources, such as freshwater, forest, and wildlife. Egline strongly believes in the integration of indigenous knowledges into water resource management and the crucial, but currently limited use of remote sensing in groundwater monitoring.

Interview with Alicia Simón Sisimit, Kaqchikel Journalist and activist at DDASO Project

Short description of the Kaqchikel community

The municipality of San José Poaquil was founded on November 1, 1891. It is located in the department of Chimaltenango with a territorial extension of approximately 100 km² and has almost 30 000 inhabitants. It is one of the 16 municipalities that make up the department of Chimaltenango. It is located in the west of the Republic of Guatemala at a distance of 101 kilometers from the Capital City and distance 47 kilometers from the Departmental Capital.

Interview with Valdilene Silva Siqueira

Valdilene Siqueira has a diverse background in chemistry and environmental engineering and is currently pursing a master’s degree in Sustainable Territorial Development. Her work and experience has always been closely tied to water management and sanitation. She believes that access to water and ensuring the sustainable management of water resources in a fast-paced changing world are two of the most important challenges for the coming years. Valdilene feels that achieving mutual understanding on how to manage this resource, especially in water-scarce regions, is a real challenge for decision-makers but considers that an intersectoral, integrated and participatory approach is capable of bringing stakeholders together to reconcile their different interests and build collective solutions. 

Interview with Lukas Graf

Lukas Graf used to take clean drinking water for granted. As he grew up, and conversations around climate change and environmental destruction became increasingly intense, he started to become more aware of the importance and scarcity of water resources. Around a similar time, he became increasingly enthusiastic about space, realising that space technologies could be used to explore many of the pressing topics that he was interested in. He has participated in research projects that used remote sensing methods to study the effects of global change on ecosystems and especially on water availability. Lukas is interested in a range of topics from virtual water and water quality to irrigation and agriculture. He believes that interdisciplinary approaches and mutual dialog with societies and stakeholders need to be deepened for sustained resource management.

Interview with Victor Pellet, CNES PostDoc, Paris Observatory

Describe experience relating to water and space technologies

I grew up in a country (France) where water is freely available. The drought in 2003 was considered a one-time event. I had no single lesson on climate change at school. Despite this background, I was raised aware of the links between social and environmental inequality on a global scale.

Interview with Farid Farhat, Hydrological Modeling Specialist at UNICITI

Could you describe how your professional and/or personal experience relate to water? Where does your interest in space technology for water come from? 

I have a solid understanding of the fundamentals of hydrologic and hydraulic engineering, which is relevant to water. I studied many courses in my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees where I learned how runoff in a watershed is generated from meteorological parameters including rainfall, evapotranspiration and infiltration. I also applied my theoretical knowledge to various projects.

Interview with Prof. Emerita Kristine M. Larson

Prof. Larson’s career has been focussed on using the Global Positioning System, and more recently using GPS to measure hydrological parameters, such as water levels in lakes, rivers, and the ocean, soil water content, and the depth of snow. To innovate, she Emerita believes a willingness to be different is key. She feels strongly about bringing space technologies closer to people by communicating better the important role that space technologies play and by making measurements from satellites easier for people to access.

Interview with Assoc. Prof. Susanne Schmeier

Prof. Susanne Scheier’s interest in water diplomacy, conflict and cooperation came from a long passion for water and the environment due to a love of the outdoors and being close to rivers and mountains as a teenager. She now uses her passion in her work, identifying and responding to challenges around shared water resources. She uses space technologies in her work with the Water, Peace and Security (WSP) partnership to identify hotspots of potential water-related conflicts early on and to raise political awareness with policy-makers.

Interview with Dr. Shimrit Maman, Senior Scientist at the Goldman Sonnenfeldt School of Sustainability and Climate Change

How do you personally and professionally relate to water? 

Growing up in Israel, water scarcity was a constant backdrop to my childhood. The arid climate and frequent droughts shaped my relationship with water from an early age. One vivid memory that remains stamped in my mind is the series of TV campaigns highlighting the importance of water conservation. I recall sitting in front of the television, concerned by the urgency conveyed in those campaigns. The images of dry landscapes and the emphasis on every drop of water as precious left a lasting impression.

Interview with Padmi Ranasinghe, Doctoral student in Urban Planning and Public Policy at the University of Texas (UT) - Arlington

Padmi is currently reading for her Ph.D. focusing on Nature-based Solutions (NbS) for climate change risk reduction and resilience cities. She believes NbS can reduce hydro-meteorological hazards such as floods, droughts, and landslides in the long run. It is a strategy to minimize the gaps in decarbonizing and reducing greenhouse gases and a path to Net-zero cities. NbS, are actions to protect, sustainably manage, and restore natural and modified ecosystems that address societal challenges effectively and adaptively, benefiting people and nature (IUCN & World Bank, 2022). Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA), ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction (Eco-DRR), ecosystem-based mitigation (EbM), and green infrastructure are some branches under the umbrella of NbS. NbS include conserving forests, mangroves, and wetland ecosystems, halting deforestation, increasing reforestation, climate-smart agriculture, and opening green spaces. According to her, space technology is integral to planning, monitoring, and analysis. Space technology today is so advanced that it can capture and predict changes in the water cycle, climate change variables and so forth. Remote sensing data and satellite-derived information are essential in obtaining accurate data on a specific site anywhere on the Earth's surface. Most recently, she has been involved in projects utilizing urban NbS such as the conservation of Ramsar-Colombo to mitigate urban floods and adapt to climate change. To conduct wetland inventories, space-based data and GIS techniques can be utilized to detect the presence of wetlands and/or water in wetlands. Though there can be some challenges encountered such as limited coverage of specific areas within the wetland, clouds often hiding images, and the low resolution of data making it difficult to differentiate floral species. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones) can provide enhanced accuracy and consistency in measuring wetlands, as well as the presence of water in wetlands, using space technologies. Data and technologies from space contribute to watershed management, sediment measurements and many other environmental aspects.

Interview with Shaima Almeer, Senior Space Data Analyst at Bahrain National Space Science Agency

Shaima Almeer is a young Bahraini lady that works as a senior space data analyst at the National Space Science Agency. At NSSA she is responsible for acquiring data from satellite images and analyzing them into meaningful information aiming to serve more than 21 governmental entities. Shaima is also committed to publishing scientific research papers, aiming to support and spread the knowledge to others. In addition, she has recently graduated from a fellowship program at Bahrain’s Prime Minister’s Office. Shaima was selected among more than 1000 individuals to spend a year working as full-time research fellow, benefiting from advanced training in writing skills, research methods and policy analysis. The fellowship forms a core pillar of HRH the CP and PM initiative to improve national skills and support the Kingdom’s growing cadre of young government professionals. Part of the fellowship program is to work as a supervisor at the COVID-19 War Room. Shaima has obtained her bachelor’s degree in the field of Information and Communication Technology from Bahrain Polytechnic and is currently pursuing her Msc. degree in Management Information System from the University College of Bahrain. Prior to obtaining her bachelor’s degree, Shaima was titled as the first robotics programmer in the Kingdom of Bahrain and also won the title “Pioneering Women in Technology”. She has recently also won the “Women Innovator of the Year 2023 Award” in New Dehli.

Interview with Dr Khalid Mahmood, Assistant Professor at the University of the Punjab

Could you describe your professional career and/or personal experiences related to space technology and water? Where does your interest in those sectors come from?

I started my research career in 2013, with research interests revolving around various environmental concerns that were deeply rooted in water related issues of Pakistan. Having an educational background in Space Science, it was quite intuitive to possess understanding of the very high potential of applicability of Geospatial technologies in the water sector.

Interview with Victor Hertel, PhD candidate at the German Aerospace Centre

Victor Hertel is a doctoral researcher specializing in the field of environmental risks and human security. He currently works at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) on the development of (physics-informed) deep learning methods in the context of emergency response and disaster preparedness. With an academic background in aerospace engineering, he previously worked with organizations like Human Rights Watch and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs’ UN-SPIDER program, using geospatial analyses to address environmental and social challenges. His primary area of interest is data-informed decision-making and policy, with a focus on practical and implementation-oriented solutions for humanitarian emergencies caused by climate shocks and conflict.

Interview with Ruvimbo Samanga

Ruvimbo Samanga, despite her age, has vast experience in the law, space, and water sectors. She is presently involved in a regional study on the integration of GIS and statistical information in Zimbabwe, working towards the promulgation of GIS standards and legislation to support a National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI). Ruvimbo is excited by the merging of sustainable development for water management with space technologies because it is scalable, environmentally friendly, and cost-effective over the long run. Ruvimbo feels strongly that space technologies have a role to play in policy and legal affairs, and also sees potential especially in the use of emerging technologies such as block chain, artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum computing.

Interview with Margherita Bruscolini, Geospatial & Earth Scientist, Drone Pilot at RSS-Hydro

Margherita is an interdisciplinary Earth scientist and drone pilot with a background in geologic and environmental sciences. She has international experience working in fields such as Earth Observation (EO), remote sensing, drones & geospatial data analysis applied to the environmental and humanitarian sectors, sustainability and climate change. Margherita is passionate about natural and climate-related technologies that can be used to develop sustainable and long-lasting solutions. She is working for a more inclusive world (Women in Geospatial+), without any sort of geographical or social barriers. Keywords: Science communication, Climate Change, STEM, inclusivity, sustainability, nature, hydrosphere, hydrology, water risks, Earth Observation (EO), satellite data, flood modeling, vulnerability, resilience, lifelong learning  Region/Country mentioned: Temperate climates, Arid climates, Luxembourg, Niger  Relevant SDG targets: 1, 4, 6, 9, 11, 13, 17  

Interview with Ioana Popescu, Associate Professor of Hydroinformatics at IHE Delft Institute for Water Education

Please describe how your professional (and/or personal) experience relates to space technologies and their applications to water resources management.

I am an expert in hydroinformatics, mainly involved in research projects and research supervision of MSc and PhD students. My research focusses on physically based models for inland waters (rivers and lakes). One of the major fields where modelling is used in water resources is flooding. In order to have adequate representation of floods, most models require large amounts of data, both for model building and model usage.

Interview with Joshua Ubah, Geospatial Environmental Engineer

Joshua is a Master’s student in Tropical Hydrogeology and Environmental Engineering at Technische Universität of Darmstadt. His interest is focused on hydrogeological processes, groundwater modelling, application of remote sensing and GIS in environmental studies, water management and climate change. He also works as a graduate Intern at AgriWatch BV, a company that applies geospatial solutions for precision Agriculture. As a graduate intern, he applies his interdisciplinary knowledge in developing smart-farming solutions using space-based technologies to farmers in the Twente region of the Netherlands. He deploys satellite imagery, field studies and machine learning algorithms to predict the effect of climate change on arable crops. He also utilizes precipitation data to predict rainfall events to aid farmers in determining planting and harvesting periods. Joshua earned a bachelor’s degree in Geological Sciences, his bachelor’s thesis research aimed at carrying out paleoenvironmental reconstruction using paleocurrent indicators of water flow and direction, and application of ArcGIS to produce maps. Currently, he is working on his master’s thesis with emphasis on the impact of the ancient climate on the paleoenvironment particularly on vegetation, where he tries to research plants response to long-term greenhouse periods and short-term warming events on various timescales throughout Earth's history. His research interests revolve around the application of space technologies in providing solutions and tackling climate change.

Interview with Nidhi Nagabhatla, Program/Cluster Lead (Nature, Climate and Health) at United Nations University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU CRIS)

You are currently a Senior Fellow and Cluster Coordinator: Nature, Climate, and Health at UNU – CRIS, can you elaborate on your role, and how it relates to water?

The world faces big problems like climate change, water shortages, and health issues. At UNU CRIS, our Nature, Climate, and Health Cluster studies how these problems are linked. We see that climate change makes things like water and food scarce, which hurts people's health. Our research shows how climate change affects water, food, and health security.

Interview with Prof. Hesham El-Askary

Prof. Hesham El-Askary works at Chapman University in the Earth Systems Science Data Solutions (ESsDs) lab. Here, he supervises students on the use of satellite earth observations for topics including agriculture, water resources, air quality and climate action, and makes use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). Prof. El-Askary is researching natural and anthropogenic pollution’s influence on the environment and is particularly interested in the concept of “glocal” impact—how what’s happening globally in terms of climate affects us locally. He believes that one of the biggest challenges in implementing sustainable water management is the lack of data to monitor progress, and advocates for space technologies to mitigates this shortage.  

Interview with Stephanie Tumampos, PhD Student at Chair of Remote Sensing Technology, Technical University Munich

How do your professional career and/or your personal experience relate to space technologies and water?

My interest in water is deeply rooted in my personal life. I grew up on an island in the Philippines where a lot of people depend on water as a source of livelihood. From fishing in the open sea to fish breeding, water has always been a source of income at home. Aside from this, the small community where I grew up struggled with access to running water.

Interview with Yolanda Lopez-Maldonado

Name of the community

Maya

Short description of community and hydrogeology of the area

Yucatan is located in the southeast portion of Mexico. The total area of Yucatan is 124, 409 km2 and the population (by 2018) was ca. 2.1 million inhabitants. The landscape of the area is defined by a highly permeable karstic soil, a notable absence of rivers or permanent freshwater resources in the surface, and a high number of natural wells or sinkholes (locally called cenotes, from the Maya word t´sonot).  

Interview with Nokubonga Mazibuko, Commissioner at the Commission on Khoi-San Matters, South Africa

Disclaimer!

I should note that this interview does not aim to compare the San women of Platfontein with the Zulu women from Folweni as these are totally different communities. Also, as much as I am a Commissioner, this interview is not done on behalf of the Commission on Khoi-San Matters (CKSM) but on my personal capacity as a researcher and academic who has an interest on issues pertaining to women.

Interview with Dr. Sherine Ahmed El Baradei

The following interview with Dr. Sherine Ahmed El Baradei is focusing on water quality and its relation to space technology. Water is the essence of life. Thus preservation of water quality is of a big concern to human health and to fauna and flora in water bodies. The interview explains what is water quality and what are water quality parameters of water bodies. Furthermore, the importance of using space technologies and applications in contributing to water quality monitoring and determination of hydraulic and hydrologic conditions is thoroughly discussed. For example, temporal resolution of satellites and their role in obtaining accurate imaging and data is clarified and the satellites concerned with water quality monitoring are pointed out. Considering the important role of groundwater in arid regions, the use of GRACE Mission data in Egypt is mentioned. Moreover, key influences on water quality in Egypt are discussed and the relation of water quality to water scarcity in the country and ways to preserve water quality is being discussed. Furthermore, the potential of space-based monitoring used to address water issues from hydrological to water resources issues in the country or region is pointed out. The challenges of the use of space technology for hydrology and water-related topics in the MENA region is also discussed. Light is shed on the project done by NASA to recycle astronauts’ waste into energy and power. Sustainability is of a great importance to or communities, and thus it is discussed how sustainable it is to build cities in the desert, or to divert water to where people are instead of moving people to existing water sources. Finally, a discussion about ways we can employ to improve awareness and capacity building on the use of space technology for water and challenges in this field are discussed.

Interview with Basuti Gerty Bolo

Basuti Gerty Bolo dreamt of space science and of becoming an astronaut when she was only 8 years old. She then wanted to be a pilot, before studying space applications and space and atmospheric science.  Her curiosity for space science was sparked by an interest in knowing more about unexplained mysteries of things happening in space, such as the cause of some plane crashes. Basuti works exceptionally hard to disseminate space knowledge. She is an Endowed Chair for Educational Technologies at Africa University in Zimbabwe, a UNOOSA Space for Women Network mentor, and is starting a space for women and girls network called Space4Women_AfricaDreamers to spread space awareness and promote gender equality.

Interview with Lilian Nguracha Balanga, Founder of Women.conserve

Short description of the Samburu community

The Samburu community is the Nilotic ethnic community of North Central Kenya. They dress in red shukas and adorn themselves with necklaces, bracelets and anklets mostly from beads. They believe in God Nkai, living in the mountains. They are nomadic are pastoralists, meaning that they keep animals (e.g., cows, goats, sheep and camel) which is their main source of livelihood as they get milk, meat and blood for self consumption and/or to be sold. They move from place to place in search of pasture and water.

Interview with Dr. Pietro Campana

Dr. Pietro Campana studied environmental engineering with a focus on fluid dynamics, hydrology, and water resource management, before undertaking a PhD on solar irrigation systems. He is working on the water-food-energy nexus and is currently evaluating the first agrivoltaic system (a photovoltaic system that allows the combination of both electricity production and crop production on the same land to increase the land use efficiency) in Sweden. He constantly strives to work on something that can make a difference to people’s lives and finds developing tools and services that can solve water issues very exciting. He believes that to address the nexus challenges, we need novel technologies and more research and development funding.

Interview with Rebecca Gustine, PhD Student at Washington State University, Intern at Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Rebecca Gustine is currently a PhD student at Washington State University in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering studying civil engineering with a focus on water resources. She is also an intern at NASA JPL where she is a member of the ECOSTRESS applied science mission team working with local agencies to inform resource management and conservation efforts. We talked to her about her interdisciplinary research experiences through her undergraduate and graduate school.

Interview with Benjamin Kitambo, PhD student at the Laboratory for Space Geophysics and Oceanography

Describe your professional (and/or personal) experience relating to water and space technologies.

My interest in water is a result of my background in Geology. I come from a region (Katanga Province, Congo DR) where mining is the main source of livelihood. So, I had my bachelor's degree in Geology intending to work in the mining sector after graduation. However, towards the end of the bachelor’s programme, I was exposed to the deployment of geophysical equipment for water prospecting in my department.

Interview with Simonetta di Pippo

Simonetta di Pippo, Director of UNOOSA, has experience in the space sector for around 40 years. She has been involved in some very instrumental missions, from those which helped to discover water on Mars, to landing on and exploring a comet, to those that helped sustain human life on the ISS. Her aspiration in life is to have a profession that allows her to work and learn at the same time, with her current career affording her this dream. Curiosity and diversity are both crucial in her opinion for innovation and it is her personal and professional goal to encourage more women to pursue STEM education and careers.

Interview with Hannah Ritchie, PhD student in WASH at Cranfield University

Hannah has always had a love for the outdoors and especially for being by the sea. From her interest in both hydrogeology and development, developed during her undergraduate studies in geology and her travels respectively, she is now undertaking a PhD in WASH, researching water security in rural communities in Kenya. Hannah undertook a six-month internship with Space4Water at UNOOSA in 2021, where she developed her understanding of the importance and application of space-based technologies in the water sector. She believes that groundwater and sanitation are two areas where space technologies are currently under-exploited but in which they hold a lot of potential.

Interview with Mr Stuart Crane, Programme Management Officer at UN Environment

Mr Stuart Crane, has been program coordinator at the United Nations Environment Program and its Center for Water and Environment since 2017. Mr Crane has experience in international intergovernmental organizations since 2009 and dedicated large parts of his career to working on environmental issues such as energy, climate change and water. His professional background is in Environmental Quality and resource management, and he received his post graduate degree in International Development. On behalf of UNEP, he coordinates a global SDG 6 fresh water program that supports 193 countries with progressing towards SDG. 6 targets on improving the water governance, ecosystem management and reducing freshwater pollution.

Interview with Prof. Rita Colwell

Prof. Rita Colwell’s career has been dedicated to providing safe water to rural communities, with a focus on cholera, after studying marine microbiology. Through her work, she and her team developed a model that employs satellite sensing to monitor the environmental factors associated with cholera. Prof. Colwell is also Director of the National Science Foundation and is a proponent of an educated society and increasing the number of women and minorities in STEM. For her, the most exciting aspect of her current work is assisting countries such as Yemen in predicting the risk of cholera outbreaks, however she believes one challenge that remains is the poor understanding of how effective the use of satellite sensos are for predicting the risk of such water borne diseases.

Interview with Sarhan Zerouali

Sarhan Zerouali became fascinated with water at a young age through learning about water scarcity around the world and about traditional methods for locating groundwater. In a space applications course Sahran then learnt about space-based technologies. He is currently working on a research project on how remote sensing and other technologies can help alleviate global challenges arising from land degradation. As an aerospace engineer, Sahran has worked with various modern technologies in his work including nanosatellites, artificial intelligence, and feature extraction algorithms.

Interview with Claudia Ruz Vargas, Researcher at IGRAC

Claudia Ruz Vargas is a civil engineer, graduated from the University of Santiago, Chile, with an international master’s degree in Groundwater and Global change. Her master thesis focused on groundwater modelling for recharge and saline intrusion risk assessment under climate change scenarios, in Cape Verde. Claudia has six years of work experience as a project engineer and researcher. She is currently a researcher at the International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre (IGRAC), where she is involved in projects of high impact on the groundwater sector. In this interview, we talked to her about her career path, and how she has contributed to an improved and more sustainable management of groundwater resources, at a regional and global levels.

Interview with Webster Gumindoga, PhD Student at University of Twente and Lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe

Webster is a PhD student at the University of Twente’s Faculty of Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation. His PhD thesis is entitled: Observing Zambezi Basin from Space: Satellite based bias correction for hydrological modelling: Webster is also lecturer and researcher at the University of Zimbabwe’s Construction and Civil Engineering Department. He is the coordinator of the regional master’s degree programme in Integrated Water Resources Management, a capacity building programme for the water sector in Southern and Eastern Africa. His research interests are in the areas of GIS and Earth Observation applications in water resources management, sanitation, water quality and disaster management. He is also a consultant who has been seconded as a GIS mentor to many government institutions and developmental partners in Southern Africa. Webster has over 60 publications, numerous regional and international conference papers in areas of spatial and quantitative hydrology, water resources management, quantification of water cycle components and feedbacks between climate, land-uses, water cycles and other societal influences. Webster is the Chief Editor of the Journal of Environmental Management in Zimbabwe (JEMZ).

Interview with Malek Abdulfailat

Malek Abdulfailat has over 10 years of experience mapping and coordinating water-related projects in Palestine, Israel, and Jordon. He is currently leading a new consultation firm working on three projects: Green businesses and Water, EcoTourism and Water, and Solid waste management through women leaders. He has experience using several different space based technologies including spatial analysis and water elevation mapping. He’s realises the importance of space based technologies and believes that one factor needed to unlock their true potential is by increasing access to such tools and by better communicating their potential to policy makers.

Interview with Naledi Msiya

Describe your professional (and/or personal) experience relating to water (and space technologies). Please indicate whether an experience is related to water or to both, space and water).

I have always had an interest for science and the environment and before starting university I was introduced to hydrology which really caught my interest and led me to studying a BSc Degree in Hydrology and Geography.

Interview with Dr. Ayan Santos Fleischmann, Lead, Research Group in Geospatial Analysis of the Amazonian Environment and Territory

Ayan Santos Fleischmann is a hydrologist with a particular interest in wetlands and large-scale basins, mainly in South America and Africa, and in the context of human impacts on water resources. His main study approaches involve remote sensing techniques and hydrologic-hydrodynamic modeling, as well as interdisciplinary collaborations with other disciplines such as ecology and social sciences. Currently, he is a researcher at the Mamirauá Institute for Sustainable Development (Tefé, Amazonas, Brazil), where he leads the Research Group in Geospatial Analysis of the Amazonian Environment and Territory. He also leads the Conexões Amazônicas initiative for science communication about the Amazon Basin. Ayan holds a PhD degree from UFRGS, with a collaborative period at Université Toulouse III – Paul Sabatier (France). His Ph. D. thesis focused on the hydrology of the South American wetlands. Ayan holds an Environmental Engineering degree from the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), with a research stay at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom. In this interview, we talked to him about his career path, the work he has been developing in Brazil with wetlands and floods, and his work in the Amazon River basin.

European Space Agency’s “Water Scarcity” Kick-Start

The challenge

Water is one of the most important substances on Earth and covers 70% of the planet. However, freshwater makes up a very small fraction with 97% being saline and ocean-based. While the amount of freshwater on the planet has remained fairly constant over time, the world’s population has exploded, meaning that freshwater is threatened by significant forces, like overdevelopment, polluted runoff, and global warming. 

Call for abstracts: Cairo Water Week 2023

Cairo Water Week 2023’s scientific committee invites researchers from all over the world to present their work at the technical sessions by submitting the following:

  • Abstracts
  • Extended Abstracts (upon acceptance of abstracts)

At the CWW2023, there will be a wide variety of opportunities for discussion, networking, and the exchange of knowledge regarding the conference’s five themes.
A digital version of the CWW2023 Proceedings will be published on the conference website.

Call for Contributions to the Second Edition of Africa's Voice on Water (AVOW)

Introduction

The African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) launched Africa’s Voice on Water (AVOW) magazine in August 2023, during the Stockholm World Water Week.

Target

We welcome contributions from member states, River and Lake Basin Organisations (RLBOs), Regional Economic Communities (RECs), the academia, network of development partners, civil societies, private sector and other stakeholders.

Topic Ideas

You can submit items about the following themes:

Workshop on Water Quality Monitoring & Assessment

The Innovation Workshop on Water Quality Monitoring & Assessment, organized by World Meteorological Organization (WMO), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and World Water Quality Alliance (WWQA), co-organized with and supported by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) and in partnership with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), will take place from 27 to 29 September 2023 at the JRC in Petten, Netherlands.

Stakeholder consultation: Contribute to the Global Gravity-based Groundwater Product (G3P)

For the G3P project, the consortium aims at developing a product of groundwater storage variations with global coverage and monthly resolution from 2002 until present by a cross-cutting combination of GRACE and GRACE-FO satellite gravity data with water storage data that are based on the existing portfolio of the Copernicus services. To ensure that this product will be of use to potential users, various stakeholders have been requested to participate in a user requirements survey. The consortium invites policy makers, commercial users, academic users, scientific and data organisations or any other interested individual to fill out this survey until 31 July 2021 and thereby help to create the ideal global gravity-based groundwater product.

Call for abstracts - until 31 August - for the 5th SADC Groundwater conference

The SADC Groundwater Management Institute will host its 5th SADC Groundwater Conference on 16, 17 & 18 November 2022.

The conference is held annually, with the primary objective of providing a platform for the advancement of knowledge sharing on sustainable management of groundwater at national and transboundary levels across SADC Members States

This year the event will be physically held in Windhoek, Namibia with an online participation option.

Call for local perspectives: Groundwater challenges

Local perspectives and case studies

The aim of the local perspectives and case studies feature is to learn about gaps in water resource management from affected individuals, communities, civil society, professionals, researchers or organisations in the field to identify needs or potential solutions that space technologies could contribute to.

Register for the Participatory Workshop for Indigenous Women - apply for funding until 21 August

Are you an indigenous women or in touch with indigenous communities. Don't miss this chance to make the voices of indigenous women heard. We would like to contribute to closing the digital divide, as well as to raise the voices of indigenous women on their views realated to water and the environment.

Spread the word about this opportunity so we can reach as many Indigenous women as possible.

Call: CASSINI Maritime Prize Contest - EU Space for Marine Ecosystems Protection

Of the 300 million tons of plastic produced every year, an estimated 26 million eventually ends up in the ocean. As a result, some estimates suggest there are now 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic in our oceans and seas. Even more concerning is the fact that this number is expected to increase, with National Geographic predicting that the annual amount of plastic flowing into the oceans will triple by 2040. 

Interview with Victor Hertel, PhD candidate at the German Aerospace Centre

Victor Hertel is a doctoral researcher specializing in the field of environmental risks and human security. He currently works at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) on the development of (physics-informed) deep learning methods in the context of emergency response and disaster preparedness. With an academic background in aerospace engineering, he previously worked with organizations like Human Rights Watch and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs’ UN-SPIDER program, using geospatial analyses to address environmental and social challenges. His primary area of interest is data-informed decision-making and policy, with a focus on practical and implementation-oriented solutions for humanitarian emergencies caused by climate shocks and conflict.

Interview with Ruvimbo Samanga

Ruvimbo Samanga, despite her age, has vast experience in the law, space, and water sectors. She is presently involved in a regional study on the integration of GIS and statistical information in Zimbabwe, working towards the promulgation of GIS standards and legislation to support a National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI). Ruvimbo is excited by the merging of sustainable development for water management with space technologies because it is scalable, environmentally friendly, and cost-effective over the long run. Ruvimbo feels strongly that space technologies have a role to play in policy and legal affairs, and also sees potential especially in the use of emerging technologies such as block chain, artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum computing.

Interview with Margherita Bruscolini, Geospatial & Earth Scientist, Drone Pilot at RSS-Hydro

Margherita is an interdisciplinary Earth scientist and drone pilot with a background in geologic and environmental sciences. She has international experience working in fields such as Earth Observation (EO), remote sensing, drones & geospatial data analysis applied to the environmental and humanitarian sectors, sustainability and climate change. Margherita is passionate about natural and climate-related technologies that can be used to develop sustainable and long-lasting solutions. She is working for a more inclusive world (Women in Geospatial+), without any sort of geographical or social barriers. Keywords: Science communication, Climate Change, STEM, inclusivity, sustainability, nature, hydrosphere, hydrology, water risks, Earth Observation (EO), satellite data, flood modeling, vulnerability, resilience, lifelong learning  Region/Country mentioned: Temperate climates, Arid climates, Luxembourg, Niger  Relevant SDG targets: 1, 4, 6, 9, 11, 13, 17  

Interview with Joshua Ubah, Geospatial Environmental Engineer

Joshua is a Master’s student in Tropical Hydrogeology and Environmental Engineering at Technische Universität of Darmstadt. His interest is focused on hydrogeological processes, groundwater modelling, application of remote sensing and GIS in environmental studies, water management and climate change. He also works as a graduate Intern at AgriWatch BV, a company that applies geospatial solutions for precision Agriculture. As a graduate intern, he applies his interdisciplinary knowledge in developing smart-farming solutions using space-based technologies to farmers in the Twente region of the Netherlands. He deploys satellite imagery, field studies and machine learning algorithms to predict the effect of climate change on arable crops. He also utilizes precipitation data to predict rainfall events to aid farmers in determining planting and harvesting periods. Joshua earned a bachelor’s degree in Geological Sciences, his bachelor’s thesis research aimed at carrying out paleoenvironmental reconstruction using paleocurrent indicators of water flow and direction, and application of ArcGIS to produce maps. Currently, he is working on his master’s thesis with emphasis on the impact of the ancient climate on the paleoenvironment particularly on vegetation, where he tries to research plants response to long-term greenhouse periods and short-term warming events on various timescales throughout Earth's history. His research interests revolve around the application of space technologies in providing solutions and tackling climate change.

Interview with Stephanie Tumampos, PhD Student at Chair of Remote Sensing Technology, Technical University Munich

How do your professional career and/or your personal experience relate to space technologies and water?

My interest in water is deeply rooted in my personal life. I grew up on an island in the Philippines where a lot of people depend on water as a source of livelihood. From fishing in the open sea to fish breeding, water has always been a source of income at home. Aside from this, the small community where I grew up struggled with access to running water.

Interview with Rebecca Gustine, PhD Student at Washington State University, Intern at Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Rebecca Gustine is currently a PhD student at Washington State University in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering studying civil engineering with a focus on water resources. She is also an intern at NASA JPL where she is a member of the ECOSTRESS applied science mission team working with local agencies to inform resource management and conservation efforts. We talked to her about her interdisciplinary research experiences through her undergraduate and graduate school.

Interview with Benjamin Kitambo, PhD student at the Laboratory for Space Geophysics and Oceanography

Describe your professional (and/or personal) experience relating to water and space technologies.

My interest in water is a result of my background in Geology. I come from a region (Katanga Province, Congo DR) where mining is the main source of livelihood. So, I had my bachelor's degree in Geology intending to work in the mining sector after graduation. However, towards the end of the bachelor’s programme, I was exposed to the deployment of geophysical equipment for water prospecting in my department.

Interview with Hannah Ritchie, PhD student in WASH at Cranfield University

Hannah has always had a love for the outdoors and especially for being by the sea. From her interest in both hydrogeology and development, developed during her undergraduate studies in geology and her travels respectively, she is now undertaking a PhD in WASH, researching water security in rural communities in Kenya. Hannah undertook a six-month internship with Space4Water at UNOOSA in 2021, where she developed her understanding of the importance and application of space-based technologies in the water sector. She believes that groundwater and sanitation are two areas where space technologies are currently under-exploited but in which they hold a lot of potential.

Interview with Sarhan Zerouali

Sarhan Zerouali became fascinated with water at a young age through learning about water scarcity around the world and about traditional methods for locating groundwater. In a space applications course Sahran then learnt about space-based technologies. He is currently working on a research project on how remote sensing and other technologies can help alleviate global challenges arising from land degradation. As an aerospace engineer, Sahran has worked with various modern technologies in his work including nanosatellites, artificial intelligence, and feature extraction algorithms.

Interview with Claudia Ruz Vargas, Researcher at IGRAC

Claudia Ruz Vargas is a civil engineer, graduated from the University of Santiago, Chile, with an international master’s degree in Groundwater and Global change. Her master thesis focused on groundwater modelling for recharge and saline intrusion risk assessment under climate change scenarios, in Cape Verde. Claudia has six years of work experience as a project engineer and researcher. She is currently a researcher at the International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre (IGRAC), where she is involved in projects of high impact on the groundwater sector. In this interview, we talked to her about her career path, and how she has contributed to an improved and more sustainable management of groundwater resources, at a regional and global levels.

Interview with Webster Gumindoga, PhD Student at University of Twente and Lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe

Webster is a PhD student at the University of Twente’s Faculty of Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation. His PhD thesis is entitled: Observing Zambezi Basin from Space: Satellite based bias correction for hydrological modelling: Webster is also lecturer and researcher at the University of Zimbabwe’s Construction and Civil Engineering Department. He is the coordinator of the regional master’s degree programme in Integrated Water Resources Management, a capacity building programme for the water sector in Southern and Eastern Africa. His research interests are in the areas of GIS and Earth Observation applications in water resources management, sanitation, water quality and disaster management. He is also a consultant who has been seconded as a GIS mentor to many government institutions and developmental partners in Southern Africa. Webster has over 60 publications, numerous regional and international conference papers in areas of spatial and quantitative hydrology, water resources management, quantification of water cycle components and feedbacks between climate, land-uses, water cycles and other societal influences. Webster is the Chief Editor of the Journal of Environmental Management in Zimbabwe (JEMZ).

Interview with Malek Abdulfailat

Malek Abdulfailat has over 10 years of experience mapping and coordinating water-related projects in Palestine, Israel, and Jordon. He is currently leading a new consultation firm working on three projects: Green businesses and Water, EcoTourism and Water, and Solid waste management through women leaders. He has experience using several different space based technologies including spatial analysis and water elevation mapping. He’s realises the importance of space based technologies and believes that one factor needed to unlock their true potential is by increasing access to such tools and by better communicating their potential to policy makers.

Interview with Naledi Msiya

Describe your professional (and/or personal) experience relating to water (and space technologies). Please indicate whether an experience is related to water or to both, space and water).

I have always had an interest for science and the environment and before starting university I was introduced to hydrology which really caught my interest and led me to studying a BSc Degree in Hydrology and Geography.

Interview with Dr. Ayan Santos Fleischmann, Lead, Research Group in Geospatial Analysis of the Amazonian Environment and Territory

Ayan Santos Fleischmann is a hydrologist with a particular interest in wetlands and large-scale basins, mainly in South America and Africa, and in the context of human impacts on water resources. His main study approaches involve remote sensing techniques and hydrologic-hydrodynamic modeling, as well as interdisciplinary collaborations with other disciplines such as ecology and social sciences. Currently, he is a researcher at the Mamirauá Institute for Sustainable Development (Tefé, Amazonas, Brazil), where he leads the Research Group in Geospatial Analysis of the Amazonian Environment and Territory. He also leads the Conexões Amazônicas initiative for science communication about the Amazon Basin. Ayan holds a PhD degree from UFRGS, with a collaborative period at Université Toulouse III – Paul Sabatier (France). His Ph. D. thesis focused on the hydrology of the South American wetlands. Ayan holds an Environmental Engineering degree from the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), with a research stay at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom. In this interview, we talked to him about his career path, the work he has been developing in Brazil with wetlands and floods, and his work in the Amazon River basin.

Interview with Valdilene Silva Siqueira

Valdilene Siqueira has a diverse background in chemistry and environmental engineering and is currently pursing a master’s degree in Sustainable Territorial Development. Her work and experience has always been closely tied to water management and sanitation. She believes that access to water and ensuring the sustainable management of water resources in a fast-paced changing world are two of the most important challenges for the coming years. Valdilene feels that achieving mutual understanding on how to manage this resource, especially in water-scarce regions, is a real challenge for decision-makers but considers that an intersectoral, integrated and participatory approach is capable of bringing stakeholders together to reconcile their different interests and build collective solutions. 

Interview with Lukas Graf

Lukas Graf used to take clean drinking water for granted. As he grew up, and conversations around climate change and environmental destruction became increasingly intense, he started to become more aware of the importance and scarcity of water resources. Around a similar time, he became increasingly enthusiastic about space, realising that space technologies could be used to explore many of the pressing topics that he was interested in. He has participated in research projects that used remote sensing methods to study the effects of global change on ecosystems and especially on water availability. Lukas is interested in a range of topics from virtual water and water quality to irrigation and agriculture. He believes that interdisciplinary approaches and mutual dialog with societies and stakeholders need to be deepened for sustained resource management.

Interview with Victor Pellet, CNES PostDoc, Paris Observatory

Describe experience relating to water and space technologies

I grew up in a country (France) where water is freely available. The drought in 2003 was considered a one-time event. I had no single lesson on climate change at school. Despite this background, I was raised aware of the links between social and environmental inequality on a global scale.

Interview with Farid Farhat, Hydrological Modeling Specialist at UNICITI

Could you describe how your professional and/or personal experience relate to water? Where does your interest in space technology for water come from? 

I have a solid understanding of the fundamentals of hydrologic and hydraulic engineering, which is relevant to water. I studied many courses in my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees where I learned how runoff in a watershed is generated from meteorological parameters including rainfall, evapotranspiration and infiltration. I also applied my theoretical knowledge to various projects.

Interview with Padmi Ranasinghe, Doctoral student in Urban Planning and Public Policy at the University of Texas (UT) - Arlington

Padmi is currently reading for her Ph.D. focusing on Nature-based Solutions (NbS) for climate change risk reduction and resilience cities. She believes NbS can reduce hydro-meteorological hazards such as floods, droughts, and landslides in the long run. It is a strategy to minimize the gaps in decarbonizing and reducing greenhouse gases and a path to Net-zero cities. NbS, are actions to protect, sustainably manage, and restore natural and modified ecosystems that address societal challenges effectively and adaptively, benefiting people and nature (IUCN & World Bank, 2022). Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA), ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction (Eco-DRR), ecosystem-based mitigation (EbM), and green infrastructure are some branches under the umbrella of NbS. NbS include conserving forests, mangroves, and wetland ecosystems, halting deforestation, increasing reforestation, climate-smart agriculture, and opening green spaces. According to her, space technology is integral to planning, monitoring, and analysis. Space technology today is so advanced that it can capture and predict changes in the water cycle, climate change variables and so forth. Remote sensing data and satellite-derived information are essential in obtaining accurate data on a specific site anywhere on the Earth's surface. Most recently, she has been involved in projects utilizing urban NbS such as the conservation of Ramsar-Colombo to mitigate urban floods and adapt to climate change. To conduct wetland inventories, space-based data and GIS techniques can be utilized to detect the presence of wetlands and/or water in wetlands. Though there can be some challenges encountered such as limited coverage of specific areas within the wetland, clouds often hiding images, and the low resolution of data making it difficult to differentiate floral species. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones) can provide enhanced accuracy and consistency in measuring wetlands, as well as the presence of water in wetlands, using space technologies. Data and technologies from space contribute to watershed management, sediment measurements and many other environmental aspects.

Interview with Shaima Almeer, Senior Space Data Analyst at Bahrain National Space Science Agency

Shaima Almeer is a young Bahraini lady that works as a senior space data analyst at the National Space Science Agency. At NSSA she is responsible for acquiring data from satellite images and analyzing them into meaningful information aiming to serve more than 21 governmental entities. Shaima is also committed to publishing scientific research papers, aiming to support and spread the knowledge to others. In addition, she has recently graduated from a fellowship program at Bahrain’s Prime Minister’s Office. Shaima was selected among more than 1000 individuals to spend a year working as full-time research fellow, benefiting from advanced training in writing skills, research methods and policy analysis. The fellowship forms a core pillar of HRH the CP and PM initiative to improve national skills and support the Kingdom’s growing cadre of young government professionals. Part of the fellowship program is to work as a supervisor at the COVID-19 War Room. Shaima has obtained her bachelor’s degree in the field of Information and Communication Technology from Bahrain Polytechnic and is currently pursuing her Msc. degree in Management Information System from the University College of Bahrain. Prior to obtaining her bachelor’s degree, Shaima was titled as the first robotics programmer in the Kingdom of Bahrain and also won the title “Pioneering Women in Technology”. She has recently also won the “Women Innovator of the Year 2023 Award” in New Dehli.

Register for the 1st Space4Water Stakeholder Meeting - End or registration: 30 September

Space4Water stakeholders, featured young professionals and professionals, join us in Vienna at the 1st Space4Water Stakeholder Meeting.

Dates and location

The workshop will take place on 27-28 October 2022 at the Vienna International Centre, with an opportunity to host it online, should COVID prevent travels in October.

Registration

To be considered for participation Space4Water stakeholders and featured professionals can register here.

Register for the 2nd Space4Water Stakeholder Meeting - End of registration: 30 April

organised by UNOOSA in partnership with the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water (PSIPW)
11-12 May 2023, Online
 
This event is restricted to Space4Water stakeholders, featured professionals, young professionals and representatives of Indigenous communities featured on the portal.

Registration for speakers submitting technical presentations closes on 15 April 2023.
Registration for all other participants closes on 30 April 2023.

Launch of Zimbabwe's first Satellite ZIMSAT - 1

What began as the development of a cubesat (BIRD-5) at the Kyushu Institute of Technology in Japan took off on a spacecraft to the International Space Station from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, US on 6 November 2022 (watch the video of the launch of the CRS2 NG-18 (Cygnus) Mission (Antares), in the video below the article).

Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space: 2021

The Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space in its sixty-fourth session, which took place form 25 August-3 September 2021 in Vienna, adopted the below on its agenda item "Space and water": 
 

  1. The Committee considered the agenda item entitled “Space and water”, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 75/92.

PSIPW announces winners for its 10th Award (2022)

On 5 June 2022, the Prize Council, under the chairmanship of the president of King Saud University Dr. Badran Al-Omar, and under the direction of PSIPW President HRH Prince Khalid Bin Sultan Bin Abdulaziz, approved the winners for the 10th Award (2022) of the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water (PSIPW).

UNOOSA and Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water reinforce their cooperation to promote use of space applications for water sustainability

VIENNA, 21 January (United Nations Information Service) - The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water (PSIPW) have renewed their long-standing agreement to promote the use of space-based technology for better water resource management.  PSIPW is a leading scientific award that focuses on innovation to address water scarcity, offered every two years.

Report on the Third Space4Water Stakeholder Meeting

The Office for Outer Space Affairs and the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water organized the third Space4Water stakeholder meeting hosted in Vienna on 24 and 25 October 2023 in a hybrid format.

The present report describes the objectives of the meeting and includes details of attendance and a summary of the presentations, discussions and interactive sessions, as well as the conclusions.

The full report is available for download below.

Report on the Status and outlook of the Space4Water Project

The status and outlook of the Space4Water Project was presented at the 58th session of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee (STSC) 2021 of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs. The report is critical for outlining the motivation behind, contribution, and success of the Space4Water Project, and the Space4Water Portal as its main pillar.

PSIPW Announces Winners for its 9th Award (2020)

On 26 July 2020, the Prize Council Chairman Dr. Badran Al-Omar, under the direction of PSIPW President HRH Prince Khalid Bin Sultan, announced the winners for the 9th Award (2020) of the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water (PSIPW).

PSIPW is a leading, global scientific award focusing on cutting-edge innovation in water research. It gives recognition to scientists, researchers and inventors around the world for pioneering work that addresses the problem of water scarcity in creative and effective ways.

A Better World Volume 7: Space4Water Feature

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs together with its donor, the Prince Sultan Abdulaziz International Prize for Water have jointly published an article called Cooperation in applying space technologies to water management, in the 7th edtion of A Better World.

Register for the United Nations/Ghana/PSIPW - 5th International conference on the use of space technology for water resources management

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Government of Ghana are jointly organizing a Conference with the support of the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water (PSIPW) to promote the use of space technology in water management to the benefit of developing countries.

The Conference will be held in Accra, Ghana, from 10- 13 May 2022, hosted by the University of Energy and Natural Resources on behalf of the Government of Ghana.

Call for local perspectives: Groundwater challenges

Local perspectives and case studies

The aim of the local perspectives and case studies feature is to learn about gaps in water resource management from affected individuals, communities, civil society, professionals, researchers or organisations in the field to identify needs or potential solutions that space technologies could contribute to.

Interview with Yolanda Lopez-Maldonado

Name of the community

Maya

Short description of community and hydrogeology of the area

Yucatan is located in the southeast portion of Mexico. The total area of Yucatan is 124, 409 km2 and the population (by 2018) was ca. 2.1 million inhabitants. The landscape of the area is defined by a highly permeable karstic soil, a notable absence of rivers or permanent freshwater resources in the surface, and a high number of natural wells or sinkholes (locally called cenotes, from the Maya word t´sonot).  

Interview with Nokubonga Mazibuko, Commissioner at the Commission on Khoi-San Matters, South Africa

Disclaimer!

I should note that this interview does not aim to compare the San women of Platfontein with the Zulu women from Folweni as these are totally different communities. Also, as much as I am a Commissioner, this interview is not done on behalf of the Commission on Khoi-San Matters (CKSM) but on my personal capacity as a researcher and academic who has an interest on issues pertaining to women.

Interview with Lilian Nguracha Balanga, Founder of Women.conserve

Short description of the Samburu community

The Samburu community is the Nilotic ethnic community of North Central Kenya. They dress in red shukas and adorn themselves with necklaces, bracelets and anklets mostly from beads. They believe in God Nkai, living in the mountains. They are nomadic are pastoralists, meaning that they keep animals (e.g., cows, goats, sheep and camel) which is their main source of livelihood as they get milk, meat and blood for self consumption and/or to be sold. They move from place to place in search of pasture and water.

Interview with Alicia Simón Sisimit, Kaqchikel Journalist and activist at DDASO Project

Short description of the Kaqchikel community

The municipality of San José Poaquil was founded on November 1, 1891. It is located in the department of Chimaltenango with a territorial extension of approximately 100 km² and has almost 30 000 inhabitants. It is one of the 16 municipalities that make up the department of Chimaltenango. It is located in the west of the Republic of Guatemala at a distance of 101 kilometers from the Capital City and distance 47 kilometers from the Departmental Capital.

Call for Nominations GEO AquaWatch Management Team

DEADLINE December 6th!

AquaWatch, the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) water quality initiative is developing and building the global capacity and utility of EO-derived water quality data, products and information to support effective monitoring, management and decision making. GEO AquaWatch seeks nominations of individuals to serve on our Management Team for the 2023-2026 triennium. Early Career  Scientists are encouraged to apply.  These roles are unpaid and voluntary.  

Capacity Building and Training Material

Introduction to Modflow and Model Use

This course provides basic knowledge about MODFLOW and Model Muse, which can be used to develop, run, and post-process models. MODFLOW in Model Muse combines many of the capabilities found in MODFLOW 6, MODFLOW-2005, MODFLOW-NWT, MODFLOW-USG, and MODFLOW-LGR, and provides a platform for adding packages.

ARSET - Remote Sensing of Drought

Overview:

Prolonged drought can result in economic, environmental, and health-related impacts. In these training webinars, participants will learn how to monitor drought conditions and assess impacts on the ecosystem using precipitation, soil moisture, and vegetation data. The training will provide an overview of drought classification, as well as an introduction to web-based tools for drought monitoring and visualization.

Objective:

By the end of the training, participants will be able to:

ARSET - Mapping and Monitoring Lakes and Reservoirs with Satellite Observations

Overview:

Natural lakes and man-made reservoirs are a part of Earth’s surface water. Freshwater lakes and reservoirs are used for drinking water, fishing, and recreational activities. Aside from the aesthetic and scenic value added by their presence, lakes support surrounding plant and aquatic ecosystems and wildlife. A variety of factors affect lakes and reservoirs, including climate variability and change, land use, and other watershed activities influencing surface runoff and groundwater.

Digital Earth Africa: Agriculture and Food Security

Digital Earth Africa learning platform

This learning platform helps users understand the significance of Earth observations, explore Digital Earth Africa datasets through an interactive map, and get started on the basics of python coding for spatial analysis.

Digital Earth Africa makes Earth observation (EO) data readily available, delivering decision-ready products to the African continent. Data generated by Digital Earth Africa will provide valuable insights for better decision-making across many areas, including resource management, food security and urbanisation.

Water: addressing the global crisis

Overview 

The SDG Academy and the Stockholm International Water Institute have come together to offer this MOOC on some of the most important water issues. They focus on the key role water plays in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, not least SDG 6, about sustainable water and sanitation for all. The course intends to explain the global water crisis through linkages between water, environment, and societal development, focusing on how to tackle issues such as growing water uncertainty and deteriorating water quality.

QGIS et Applications en Hydrologie

Le cours comprend 7 leçons. Chaque leçon présente un cas d'application, suivi d'une partie théorique SIG illustrée avec des vidéos. Ceux-ci seront suivis par un tutoriel pratique présentant les nombreuses fonctionnalités offertes par QGIS. Les leçons se terminent par des recettes de style des cartes qui fournissent une base solide dans les capacités cartographiques robustes de QGIS. Des astuces telles que les remplissages suivant la forme de polygone inversé, les paramètres d'étiquette avancés et les modes de fusion sont abordées.

Water Productivity and Water Accounting using WaPOR

Water Productivity and Water Accounting using WaPOR (the portal to monitor Water Productivity through Open-access of Remotely sensed derived data) is an open online course targeting practitioners and academicians who are working in water resources management and related fields and have interest in applying open access remote sensing data and other open data to assess the water resources situation and water productivity and the extent to which water productivity increases have an effect on different water users in a river basin context.

ARSET - Processing Satellite Imagery for Monitoring Water Quality

Overview:

Polluted water influences all aspects of life, including people, animals, and the environment. NASA satellite observations provide near real-time information about water quality. This freely available data can help decision-makers in their work. Satellite data can have applications for managing drinking water, public health, and fisheries.

ARSET - Introduction to Using the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC)Hydrologic Model with NASA Earth Observations

Overview:

Hydrologic modeling is useful for flood, drought, and water resources management. The Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) Model uses inputs to better understand hydrological processes in near real-time. Many of the inputs are available from NASA remote sensing and Earth system models, allowing the model to provide soil moisture, evapotranspiration, and runoff as outputs. Together with precipitation data, these outputs provide quantitative assessment of a regional water budget.

ARSET - Integrating Remote Sensing into a Water Quality Monitoring Program

Overview:

These training webinars will focus on integrating NASA Earth observations into water quality monitoring decision making processes. This will include a brief overview of data products used for water quality monitoring, an overview of aquatic remote sensing-specific criteria, methods and best practices, obtaining NASA Earth observation data for water quality monitoring, and practical skill building in image processing for water quality monitoring of coastal and larger inland water bodies. 

ARSET - Using Earth Observations to Monitor Water Budgets for River Basin Management

Rivers are a major source of freshwater. They support aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, provide transportation, and generate hydropower. Managing river basin watersheds is critical for developing policies for sustainable water allocation and development. Over the online course of four sessions, this introductory webinar series will address using satellite data and Earth system modelling data sources to estimate surface water budgets

Programming for Geospatial Hydrological Applications

Overview:

In this self-paced online course, the participants will be introduced to the Programming for Geospatial Hydrological Applications. Participants will learn an essential skill for researchers dealing with (spatial) data. With scripting participants will be able to better control analysis using command line tools. They can also automate their procedures by writing batch scripts. Furthermore, participants can process their data and make models using Python and its useful libraries

FAO CB4WA: Use of FAO WaPOR Portal

Overview

Welcome to the open access course Use of FAO WaPOR Portal from IHE Delft Institute for Water Education and the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO). WaPOR is the portal to monitor Water Productivity through Open-access of Remotely sensed derived data and has been developed by FAO. The FAO’s WaPOR programme assists countries in monitoring water productivity, identifying water productivity gaps, proposing solutions to reduce these gaps, and contributing to a sustainable increase in agricultural production.

Data Sharing for Water Sector Organisations using Spatial Data Infrastructures

Overview

Integrated Water Resources Management requires exchange of data and information among sectors. Often data is stored in files on harddisks, CD-ROMs or DVDs. This makes it hard to find the data. In addition, metadata is often lacking, which makes it hard to evaluate the quality of the data and to reuse the data. A Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) can enable water sector organisations to improve the exchange of data within and among organisations.

Digital Earth Africa: Water Resources

Digital Earth Africa learning platform

This learning platform helps users understand the significance of Earth observations, explore Digital Earth Africa datasets through an interactive map, and get started on the basics of python coding for spatial analysis.

Digital Earth Africa makes Earth observation (EO) data readily available, delivering decision-ready products to the African continent. Data generated by Digital Earth Africa will provide valuable insights for better decision-making across many areas, including resource management, food security and urbanisation.

Water Quality Assessment

Module

This module consists of four Courses with mainly theoretical background and one Course with a final assignment. Following the DPSIR structure (Driving forces, Pressures, State, Impact and Response), we will look first at some causes and consequences of water pollution and then learn how to measure and evaluate water pollution.

Rapid Impact Assessment Using Open-source Earth Observation - on the example of the Kachowka Dam Break

The Jupyter notebook demonstrates how EOdal can be used for disaster relief after the break of the Kachowka using open-source Earth Observation data.

On June 6, 2023, the Kakhovka Dam in Ukraine broke. We do not yet know who or what was responsible for the collapse of the dam. What we do know, however, are the devastating consequences for the region downstream - especially for the local population.

UN SPIDER Recommended Practice: Use of Digital Elevation Data for Storm Surge Coastal Flood Modelling

Overview:

Storm surges and tidal waves are global phenomena that considerably affect human populations in coastal and island regions. According to the Guide to Storm Surge Forecasting published by the World Meteorological Organization in 2011, storm surges can be defined as “oscillations of the water level in a coastal or inland body of water in the time range of a few minutes to a few days, resulting from forcing from atmospheric weather systems. According to this definition, the so-called wind waves, which have durations on the order of several seconds, are excluded”.

UN-SPIDER Best Practice: Disaster Preparedness Using Free Software Extensions

Overview:

Remote sensing technologies can support all stages of the disaster management cycle. In the prevention and preparedness phases, they often find their application in risk assessments, scenario modelling and early warning. This UN-SPIDER Recommended Practice explains how remote sensing data about recurring floods, information about infrastructure and socio-economic data can be integrated using free and open source software to support prevention and preparedness efforts.

UN SPIDER Recommended Best Practice: Exposure Mapping

Overview:

Mapping the extent of a natural hazard (e.g., assessing areas with a high risk) or disaster is a first step in disaster risk management and emergency response. Subsequently, exposure mapping enables the estimation of the impact of hazards or disasters, for example, regarding the number of affected inhabitants or infrastructure. The following practice shows the use of Quantum GIS to analyze a disaster extent map in combination with auxiliary data such as population or land cover data.

UN SPIDER Recommended Best Practice: Flood Hazard Assessment

Overview:

Flood hazard assessments are critical to identifying areas at risk and taking relevant preparation and mitigation measures to address the hazard. Using the HEC-RAS 2D model for preparing flood hazard maps, this Recommended Practice explains how to identify flood-prone areas and exposed infrastructure. Through its focus on the prevention and mitigation stages of the disaster management cycle, it complements the Recommended Practice on Flood Mapping and Damage Assessment with Sentinel-2, also developed by SUPARCO.

In situ calibration and validation of satellite products of water quality and hydrology

Water-ForCE is organising a community virtual workshop of experts in calibration and validation of Remote Sensing Products. This workshop is invitation-only and requires registration. The precise timing of the session slots (2-3 hours each) will be communicated once we have filled all programme slots. Each session will nevertheless take place in the early afternoon (no earlier than 1pm Central European Time) to allow speakers across the globe to join.

Afri Alliance Knowledge Hub

The AfriAlliance project aims to better prepare Africa for future climate change challenges by having African and European stakeholders work together in the areas of water innovation, research, policy, and capacity development. Rather than creating new networks, the 16 EU and African partners in this project are consolidating existing ones, consisting of scientists, decision makers, practitioners, citizens, and other key stakeholders, into an effective, problem-focused knowledge sharing mechanism.

Digital Earth Africa: DEA101 - Introduction to the Digital Earth Africa Sandbox

Digital Earth Africa learning platform

This learning platform helps users understand the significance of Earth observations, explore Digital Earth Africa datasets through an interactive map, and get started on the basics of python coding for spatial analysis.

Digital Earth Africa makes Earth observation (EO) data readily available, delivering decision-ready products to the African continent. Data generated by Digital Earth Africa will provide valuable insights for better decision-making across many areas, including resource management, food security and urbanisation.

Webinar: Groundwater for Water Security in Africa

Overview

This webinar is meant to contribute to the AMCOW Pan African Groundwater Programme (APAGroP) and its various capacity building actions. The webinar is intended to support African Member States and other relevant stakeholders to develop and implement evidence-based groundwater policy and practice in Africa for improved lives and livelihoods. 

Land cover products for understanding water quality impacts

Description

Communities need to understand how land cover affects water quality. This webinar provides information about NOAA’s coastal land cover data (also known as “C-CAP data”). Several tools make these data easier to use, including the Land Cover Atlas, an online viewer used to analyze land cover changes by county or watershed. Also covered: a step-by-step guidance document that helps users understand key water quality indicators.

Introduction to the GEO Knowledge Hub - Webinar

GEO Knowledge Hub Webinar Series

The first GEO Knowledge Hub (GKH) webinar, on the 24th February 2021, introduced the GKH in its current stage of development.

Objective

The goal was to provide a user perspective based on input from the Knowledge Providers, notably to outline GKH capabilities and benefits to the GEO community.

Topics

Topics included:

Water Diplomacy, a Tool for Climate Action?

In this SIWI World Water Week workshop organised by adelphi and IHE Delft, experts from the diplomacy, development, security, climate change and water communities discussed the conditions under which specific diplomatic tools can be used by riparian and non-riparian countries to shape regional cooperation to address climate, and other security and development challenges, such as migration.

Water-ForCE Webinar: SDG 6 clean water and sanitation

Water-ForCE Webinar: SDG 6 clean water and sanitation

While substantial progress has been made in increasing access to clean drinking water and sanitation, billions of people—mostly in rural areas—still lack these basic services.

During this webinar, we will be focusing on the targets of the Sustainable Development Goal no 6 (SDG6) on clean water and sanitation:

Speakers:

Using satellite data for water management

Water utilities and the populations they serve are facing a range of dynamic pressures, as catchment areas are affected by global climate change and local land use changes, with consequences on water sources upstream. How can we use satellite information to manage upstream processes that could affect the quality of drinking water sources?

ARSET - Groundwater Monitoring using Observations from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) Missions

Overview:

Groundwater makes up roughly 30% of global freshwater. It also provides drinking water for the world’s population, and irrigation for close to 1/3rd of global agricultural land. Because of this level of reliance, monitoring groundwater is crucial for water resources and land management. The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) and GRACE-Follow On (GRACE-FO) missions from NASA and the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) provide large-scale terrestrial water storage estimation from mid-2000 to present.

Webinar: Linking Global Water Security to Nature

Due to climate change, population growth, increasing urbanization etc., many lakes, rivers, wetlands and coastal basins globally are becoming more stressed from pollution, depleting water resources, global warming, increased floods and droughts, and increasing ecological and biological disruptions.

Data Recipes & Short Tutorials

Overview

Data recipes are video tutorials that include step-by-step instructions to help users learn how to discover, access, subset, visualize and use Earth science data, information, tools and services. These recipes cover many different data products across the Earth science disciplines and different processing languages/software.
 

Event

The Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water (PSIPW) 9th Awards Ceremony

PSIPW 9th Award (2020)

The Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water (PSIPW) is an international award focusing on water-related scientific innovation and judged by leading scientists from around the world. Five prizes are bestowed every two years.

This event is being held virtually in conjunction with the United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on the “Implementation of the Water-Related Goals and Targets of the 2030 Agenda.”

Participatory workshop for indigenous women on their roles and responsibilities related to water

Event Banner

register here until 21 August 2022 - if you would like to be considered for funding

In many places around the world women are responsible for water collection, a responsibility that globally takes them 200 million hours annually. It often leaves them with little to no time for school, work or to spend time with their family. Furthermore, indigenous communities' cultural heritage and knowledge about natural resources, including water, urgently needs to be considered and protected.

Local Perspectives Case Studies

Need for water quality data to monitor effects of mining and industrial use of water near Lake Athabasca, Canada

Tar Sands - Photo by Garth Lenz
The community is nestled on the northwest shore of Lake Athabasca and downstream of tar sands/mining extraction and hydroelectric dams. The challenge the community faces is the lack of data on the industry water use and how that is or will affect the community in the future. There is a need for data that will help with informed decision making for active stewardship and monitoring. We have estimated that it will cost about 17 billion dollars in liability if reclamation and remediation is not done to bring back the boreal ecosystem. Therefore, we need data to aid in decision-making and adaptive management to determine whether the current management practices and solutions are effectively working. This could be data on biodiversity, for example of benthic vertebrates to access the health of the water ecosystems and also water quality. Currently we do not have such data. Right now, they are doing progressive reclamation where they are revegetating as they are mining but we cannot evaluate whether this is successful or not. We do not know if the species they are using for revegetation are improving environmental quality or not. We need to develop criteria to determine the success of reclamation by evaluating if specified targets are met with a particular time period and if these are not met then identify what could be done differently – adaptative management.

Decline in Groundwater levels and quality

Photo of a cenote in Merida Yucatan, CC license
Decline in groundwater quality is the challenge I have observed and experience in my country. Groundwater systems are particularly important in places where no rivers flows on the surface. In Yucatan, Mexico, for example, there are no rivers on the surface but we can find the Yucatán Peninsula Aquifer one of the biggest aquifers in the world. Today, the peninsula only has a population of 2 million, yet groundwater is being overexploited and polluted. In the peninsula, all socio-economic sectors rely directly or indirectly on groundwater. The main users – agriculture and industry – are causing high levels of pollution and severely overexploiting the cenotes. The quality of groundwater is also being affected by the construction of roads, buildings and other modifications that include pumping wells, infrastructure for tourism and the use of technology to extract and modify groundwater. In addition, warmer temperatures and increasingly unpredictable rainfall during the year are making it harder to store water. Another factor is that the large number of cenotes and lack of reliable hydrological data are making it difficult for users to monitor and control their usage of groundwater. Consequently, the population faces a greater risk to its groundwater reserves than is currently recognized. I would like use time–space evidence from the natural and social sciences for Earth information systems, but to find approaches to better integrate Indigenous knowledge and in situ observations from local communities that can be used to identify/estimate parameters that can support the management of aquifers.Y

Project / Mission / Initiative / Community Portal

Water Accounting +

Water problems around the world are increasing; however, information useful for decision makers within the water sector and related to the water sector seems to be decreasing. Solving water problems requires information from many disciplines, and the physical accounts (describing sources and uses of water) are the most important foundation. The information has to be coherent and harmonized in order to provide an integrated picture useful for the assessment of the problems.

Healthy Rivers for All Initiative

This website includes tools and resources for developing basin report cards. It includes reports that incorporate satellite imagery to measure environmental indicators and change over time.

With the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES), we are developing, packaging, and sharing a process that helps stakeholders create science-based report cards in their own basins with the right buy-in on-the-ground and credibility globally, so they can better manage resources for the protection of fresh water they depend upon.

WMO Hydrological Observing System Portal

Currently, WHOS makes available three data portals allowing users to easily leverage common WHOS functionalities such as data discovery and data access, on the web by means of common web browsers. For more information on WHOS data and available tools, please refer to the Section WHOS web services and supported tools.

WHOS-Global Portal provides all hydrometeorological data shared through WHOS. WHOS-Global Portal is implemented using the Water Data Explorer application.

Africa-EU Innovation Alliance for Water and Climate

The AfriAlliance project aims to better prepare Africa for future climate change challenges by having African and European stakeholders work together in the areas of water innovation, research, policy, and capacity development. Rather than creating new networks, the 16 EU and African partners in this project are consolidating existing ones, consisting of scientists, decision makers, practitioners, citizens, and other key stakeholders, into an effective, problem-focused knowledge sharing mechanism.

Space-Enabled Modeling of the Niger River to Enhance Regional Water Resources Management

River and floodplain landscapes are constantly undergoing change due to natural and manmade processes putting pressure on fluvial systems, such as reservoirs, intensive agriculture, high-impact repetitive droughts and floods and the overall effects of climate change. All these bring about considerable changes, some of which irreversibly degrade ecosystem services, local economies and impact lives, particularly in sensitive transitional zones such as the Sahel region in Africa and its Niger River Basin (NRB).

Water scenarios For Copernicus Exploitation

The Water-ForCE project will co-create a Roadmap for the development of the next phase of Copernicus Inland Water Services with the space sector, research community, policy, industry and third sector. The Roadmap will be benchmarked against community requirements, recommending services that should be delivered centrally by Copernicus and innovation opportunities that are better suited for business and research development.

Socio-groundwater toolbox

To date, hydrological issues are playing a key role in the implementation of the goals in which water has a crosscutting role linked to many other Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) set in the 2030 Agenda. According to SDG 6, there is a need to monitor eight different interrelated targets globally. At present, several global tools and initiatives for water monitoring exist. A prerequisite for their implementation is to have a thorough knowledge of the system and a consistent database, usually collected at a country and global scale worldwide.

In-Service ICT Training for Environmental Professionals

Decision-makers are faced with the constant challenge of maintaining access to and understanding new technologies and data, as information and communication technologies (ICTs) are constantly evolving and as more and more data is becoming available. Despite continually improving technologies, informed decision-making is being hindered by inadequate attention to enabling conditions, e.g. a lack of in-service education and professional training for decision-makers.

e-shape

e-shape is a unique initiative that brings together decades of public investment in Earth Observation and in cloud capabilities into services for the decision-makers, the citizens, the industry and the researchers. It allows Europe to position itself as global force in Earth observation through leveraging Copernicus, making use of existing European capacities and improving user uptake of the data from GEO assets.  EuroGEO, as Europe's contribution to the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), aims at bringing together Earth Observation resources in Europe.

Hydrography90m: A new high-resolution global hydrographic dataset

In tandem with the monumental increase in geo-data availability from remote sensors, field sensors and various publicly available environmental datasets, state-of-the-art geoinformatics algorithms have evolved to harness earth science data as never before. In the field of computational hydrology, these processes have yielded global information in fine detail, and of exceptional precision.

Stakeholder

Satsense Solutions Limited

Satsense Solutions Limited is a start-up company that uses satellite earth observation to develop business and governance solutions addressing the challenges of resource management, climate change and sustainable development. It has developed and deployed several applications in the Water Resources, Hydropower, Mining and Infrastructure sectors. These include assessments of eutrophication levels in lakes and reservoirs and sedimentation rates at hydropower plants. Identification of pollution in rivers, acid mine drainage and tailings at mining sites.

Community water and Sanitation Agency

The Organisation is a Government agency in charge of providing portable drinking water and water related sanitation services to rural communities. The agency is incharge of achieving WASH related SDGs by 2030 at the remote communities in Ghana.

Egyptian Space Agency

Egyptian Space Agency is a Governmental Organization that's aiming at acquiring Space Technology and Satellite Launching capabilities towards the accomplishment of The National Sustainable Development Strategy "Egypt-SDS 2030" objectives.

Tribhuvan University, Institute of Forestry, Pokhara

The Institute of Forestry, Pokhara Campus (IOF-PC), Quality Assurance Accreditation (QAA) certified institution by the UGC, Nepal in September 2022, was established in 1981 as the Central Campus of the Institute of Forestry, one of the five technical institutes under Tribhuvan University, Nepal. The IOF, founded as Nepal Forestry Institute in Singh Durbar, Kathmandu, in 1947, was shifted to Suping (BhimPhedi) in 1957 and again to Hetauda in 1965.

Kenya Space Agency

The Kenya Space Agency (KSA) was established under the Ministry of Defence, as the successor to the National Space Secretariat (NSS), by Executive Order through Legal Notice No. 22 of 7th March 2017 with the mandate to promote, coordinate and regulate space related activities in the country.
Vision: The vision of the Agency is to be the premier Space Agency in promotion of access and effective utilization of Space Economy for national sustainable development.

The United Nations University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS)

The United Nations University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS) is a research and training institute of the United Nations University. UNU is a global network of institutes and programs engaged in research and capacity development to support the universal goals of the UN. It brings together leading scholars from around the world with a view to generate strong and innovative knowledge on how to tackle pressing global problems. UNU-CRIS focuses on the study of processes of global cooperation and regional integration and their implications.

Water, Peace and Security Partnership

WPS is a partnership of research and civil society organizations that work together towards identifying water-related risks of human insecurity, fragility and conflict, and towards developing analytical and dialogue tools for preventing and mitigating such conflicts. WPS is a collaboration between the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a consortium of six partners: IHE Delft (lead partner), World Resources Institute (WRI), Deltares, The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS), Wetlands International and International Alert.

Deepwaters.ai

DeepWaters AI uses satellite data and AI to find underground drinking water and pipe leaks. It has created a map of the Earth’s underground water, with up to 98% accuracy. It was awarded a European Space Agency AI Kickstart contract in 2018. DeepWaters AI is supported by Esri, Amazon and Nvidia startup programs. It is a UK based social impact startup, that donates 51% of profits to water philanthropy. DeepWaters AI combines neural networks with ESA Sentinel 1 & 2 satellite data.

Govind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture and Technology Pantnagar

G. B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, also known as Pantnagar University, is the first agricultural university in India. The University lies in the campus town of Pantnagar in Kichha Tehseel and in the district of Udham Singh Nagar, Uttarakhand. The university is regarded as the harbinger of the Green Revolution in India. Pantnagar University is regarded as a significant force in the development and transfer of High Yielding Variety of seeds and related technology.

Center for Space Science and Geomatics Studies (CSSGS), Pashchimanchal Campus, Institute of Engineering (IOE), Tribhuvan University

The Center for Space Science and Geomatics Studies (CSSGS) is the research center with a focus on space science and geomatics applications in the following themes: disaster management, water quality, glacier, precision agriculture, air pollution, water pollution. Research areas also focus on the application of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) in forestry, agriculture and engineering.

National Water and Sanitation Agency of Brazil

The National Water Agency (ANA) is legally liable for implementing the National Water Resources Management System (SINGREH), created to ensure the sustainable use of our rivers and lakes for the current and future generations. This implies regulating the use of water according to the mechanisms established by Law No.

Publication