Our vision is to enable all stakeholders involved in the space and water communities to access data and knowledge, to be creative and to realize their full potential in contributing to a world in which the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all has become a reality.
In 2016, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water (PSIPW) signed an agreement to collaborate on their common goal of promoting the use of space-based technology for increased access to water.
The formal agreement came after many years of ongoing collaboration between the two entities, collaboration that started in 2008 with the first collaborative project to jointly establish a water information portal.
Partnerships with other actors in the space and water management fields are considered an integral element of the Space4Water Portal initiative to foster the interoperability and sharing of resources. The portal shall be inclusive especially for actors from developing countries, and capacity building will be one of the initiative’s main focuses.
The Space4Water Project was launched in 2018 with the aim of promoting the use of space-based technology and data for increased access to water. The project comprises three pillars:
- Foster scientific exchange via conferences, to inform decision making and have an impact on policy
- Reach and inform users worldwide, via the Space4Water Portal, to show-case excellent work and allow users to find partners based on their expertise or regional focus
- Community building via interactive Space4Water Portal stakeholder meetings with the aim of creating an Experts Committee for Quality Assurance and Scientific Guidance.
The Conference Series
UNOOSA and PSIPW co-organize a series of international conferences addressing use of space technologies and data in water management, with five such events successfully taking place since 2008. The first conference was hosted in Saudi Arabia, the second in Argentina, the third in 2014 took place in Morocco, in 2018 it was hosted in Pakistan, and the most recent one was hosted by Ghana in May 2022.
The portal brings together organizations active in the field to share information on projects, initiatives, satellite missions, software, community portals, capacity building & training material, conferences, workshops, data, as well as news and publications in the sector.
The Space4Water Portal serves as:
- a platform for interdisciplinary knowledge exchange on space technology and data (space-based solutions) for water-related topics
- an initiative to make information in the field discoverable and comparable
- a multi-stakeholder platform
- a platform to support capacity-building
- a portal for expert communities sharing information on software, applications, publications, projects and initiatives
- a portal which is inclusive for actors from developing countries
UNOOSA organises stakeholder meetings and events such as the Participatory workshop for indigenous women on their roles and responsibilities related to water to strengthen the community, to assess user needs and allow to address issues within the community of stakeholders.
- Water is crucial for life and for the achievement of the most recent global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- Drinking water is a scarce resource, and freshwater scarcity continues to grow and post a challenge to growing populations around the World, often leading to conflict and other economic impact.
- Space technologies and space-based solutions can benefit water management overall, can help monitor sustainable development goals and indicators directly or indirectly related to water, and can facilitate improved water use and water resource sharing internationally, and can assist in related disaster management and crisis response activities as well. The benefits of such technologies have been often proved in the past, and UNOOSA has organized numerous capacity building events and workshops to share best practices and success stories on these over the last decade
- It is key therefore that such benefits and solutions are brought together in a focused manner and awareness of their existence is further raised, through such knowledge dissemination initiatives as this Portal aims for.
- Effective water management can help us concretely achieve several SDGs (3, 6, 7, 11, 14, 15, 17).
- The Space for Water project is part of UNOOSA’s efforts to promote space as a tool to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. This project specifically addresses Goal 6 “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all” and Goal 17 “Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development”.
If you would like to learn more about the project feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.