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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.

Towards new applications of spaceborne technology on flood protection

Recently, in July 2021, destructive and deadly floods occurred in Western Europe. The estimated insured losses only in Germany could approach 5 billion Euros (AIR Worldwide, 2021). However, the total amount of the damage is currently not foreseeable due to the variety and complexity of the damage patterns and the unbelievable extent of the disaster. It seems the socio-economic losses will dramatically increase and break a new record in the insurance industry after evaluating the complete record of damages’ reports (see Figure 1).

Interview with Amin Shakya, PhD Candidate at the University of Twente

We present an interview with Amin Shakya, a PhD candidate at the ITC Faculty of Geo-information science and earth observation at the University of Twente. We delve into Amin’s first engagements with geospatial technologies, his current PhD research on river discharge estimation using earth observation, as well as his prior work on groundwater analysis using space technologies. Further, Amin is engaged with the youth community particularly with the Groundwater Youth Network. We discuss his take on the role of youth in climate change adaptation. Throughout this interview, we touch upon various water challenges across the globe, from disaster risk management in Nepal, to urban water challenges in Mexico, to his current PhD research focused in Europe and in Africa.

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 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 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.

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 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 Amin Shakya, PhD Candidate at the University of Twente

We present an interview with Amin Shakya, a PhD candidate at the ITC Faculty of Geo-information science and earth observation at the University of Twente. We delve into Amin’s first engagements with geospatial technologies, his current PhD research on river discharge estimation using earth observation, as well as his prior work on groundwater analysis using space technologies. Further, Amin is engaged with the youth community particularly with the Groundwater Youth Network. We discuss his take on the role of youth in climate change adaptation. Throughout this interview, we touch upon various water challenges across the globe, from disaster risk management in Nepal, to urban water challenges in Mexico, to his current PhD research focused in Europe and in Africa.

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.

Capacity Building and Training Material

Copernicus Marine Data Stream for Operational Services - Ocean Applications

Overview

This is a free virtual (online only) workshop held in English. The majority of the course is composed of self-paced learning with educational resources provided through an online learning platform called Moodle. However, instructors will also be running live training sessions in the 2nd and 3rd weeks, where participants have the opportunity to join two-hour live ‘espresso’ training sessions covering SNAP and python demos, data access, tailored workflows, and question and answer sessions for 1:1 interaction.

Event

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Click on any of the highlighted countries to retrieve further information.

Project / Mission / Initiative / Community Portal

Alpine Drought Observatory

Droughts are becoming an increasing concern in the Alps and in the lowland areas that receive Alpine water. The Alpine Drought Observatory (ADO) provides a tool for a quick and easy overview of the current drought situation in the Alpine region and past drought situations in the last 6 months as maps and the last 40 years as timeseries.

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.

Stakeholder

UN Environment

The United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system, and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment. Our mission is to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.

European Organisation for Meteorological Satellites

EUMETSAT is an intergovernmental organisation and was founded in 1986. Our purpose is to supply weather and climate-related satellite data, images and products – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – to the National Meteorological Services of our Member States in Europe, and other users worldwide.

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.

University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna

Founded in 1872, the Universität für Bodenkultur Wien / University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, also known by its acronym "BOKU" is an education and research institution for renewable resources in Vienna, Austria. Today, BOKU comprises of 15 departments located at two sites in Vienna and one in Lower Austria, as well as several external research and teaching facilities in Austria. There are currently approximately 11000 students enrolled at BOKU in study courses at the bachelor, master, and doctoral levels.

b.geos GmbH

b.geos offers Earth Observation services using state-of-the-art remote sensing technologies. We develop value-added products, conduct basic research, provide consultancy in remote sensing technologies and applications, as well as training.

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.

International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre

The International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre (IGRAC) facilitates and promotes international sharing of information and knowledge required for sustainable groundwater resources development and management worldwide. Since 2003, IGRAC provides an independent content and process support, focusing particularly on trans-boundary aquifer assessment and groundwater monitoring.

University of Stirling

The University of Stirling (www.stir.ac.uk) was founded by Royal Charter in 1967 as the first genuinely new university in Scotland for over 400 years and embraces its role as an innovative, intellectual and cultural institution. A research-led university with an international reputation for high-quality research directly relevant to society’s needs, Stirling aims to be at the forefront of research and learning that helps to improve lives.

University of Energy and Natural Resources

The University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) was established by an Act of Parliament, Act 830, 2011 on December 31, 2011. The University is a public funded national institution which seeks to provide leadership and management of energy and natural resources and be a centre of excellence in these critical areas.

Mozaika

Mozaika, The Humanizing Technologies Lab, provides research and development in the field of data science, natural interfaces (human-computer interaction), knowledge management and human insight. At Mozaika we are trying to leverage data science with natural interfaces to provide solutions tailored to human behavior, attitudes and comprehension. The company specializes in building information infrastructures that serve a variety of applications in data as a service or intelligence as a service modes. Our solutions are either human user facing or modules of larger systems.

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.

International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River

The International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) is a transnational body which has been established to implement the Danube River Protection Convention. The ICPDR is formally comprised by the Delegations of all Contracting Parties to the Danube River Protection Convention, but has also established a framework for other organisations to join.

RSS-Hydro

Diverse and dynamic R&D company operating across geospatial fields for a more sustainable future - Earth Observation, remote sensing, drones, and modelling of water risks. We are determined to make the world a more sustainable and resilient place, including the SDG targets 1, 2, 6, 13, 15, and 17 in our mission and daily activities. We offer:

Eurac Research

The European Academy of Bozen/Bolzano (EURAC) is a private, non-profit research centre in South Tyrol (Italy), founded in 1992. Our 14 research institutes and centres with more than 400 staff are supported by a number of service departments ranging from ICT over science communication to grant and project management as well as contractual and reporting issues.

H2O Geomatics Inc.

H2O Geomatics is a research spin-off from the University of Waterloo. The company uses state-of-the-art remote sensing technologies to turn Earth Observation (EO) data into products and information tailored to meet end-user needs in various domains of application. H2O Geomatics is also conducting R & D activities on machine learning algorithms to handle big EO datasets as well as the development of environmental risk assessment tools for climate-dependent sectors such as agriculture and water resources management.

Services offered by the company include:

GEO AquaWatch

AquaWatch is an Initiative within the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) that aims to develop and build the global capacity and utility of Earth Observation-derived water quality data, products and information to support water resources management and decision making.

Goal

The goal of the AquaWatch Initiative is to develop and build the global capacity and utility of Earth Observation-derived water quality data, products and information to support effective monitoring, management and decision making.

Objectives

The objectives to achieve this goal are:

Flemish Institute for Technological Research-Remote Sensing

VITO is an independent, research, technology & service leader in cleantech and sustainable development. Our goal? To accelerate the transition to a sustainable world, consulting & supporting public organizations, researchers & industry. VITO Remote Sensing has a long-term expertise in the development of Earth observation (EO) instruments, technologies and services. VITO plays a primary role in collecting and processing Earth observation data into objective and useful information and insights, that are actively made available and promoted.

European Association of Remote Sensing Companies

The European Association of Remote Sensing Companies (EARSC) is the European organization which –on a non-profit basis– promotes the use of Earth Observation (EO) technology and especially the companies in Europe which offer EO-related products and services. We are a membership based organisation with the mission to foster the development of the European EO geo-information services industry. With more than 125 members, we do represent the European EO services sector in more than 24 countries

United Nations Environment Grid Geneva

GRID-Geneva is part of the Science Division of the UN Environment's global group of environmental information centres, known as the Global Resource Information Database (GRID) network. GRIDs-Geneva and Nairobi were the first centres to be launched in mid-1985.
GRID centres not only facilitate access to but directly provide environmental data and information for decision-making and policy setting; underpin UN Environment's ongoing review of environmental state and trends; and provide early warnings about emerging environmental problems and threats.

Person

Photo of Ioana Popescu

Ioana Popescu

Associate Professor of Hydroinformatics IHE Delft Institute for Water Education

Ioana Popescu is currently Associate Professor of Hydroinformatics at IHE Delft Institute for Water Education in Delft, The Netherlands. Her research focuses on computational methods, aspects of flood modeling and vulnerability related to floods, lake and reservoir modeling and water supply systems modeling and optimisation. She is particularly interested in integrating mathematical models into decision support systems. Data is key in model development, hence she explores all sources of data, from EO to in situ data and is for the FAIR data sharing.

Photo of Ioana Popescu

Ioana Popescu

Associate Professor of Hydroinformatics IHE Delft Institute for Water Education

Ioana Popescu is currently Associate Professor of Hydroinformatics at IHE Delft Institute for Water Education in Delft, The Netherlands. Her research focuses on computational methods, aspects of flood modeling and vulnerability related to floods, lake and reservoir modeling and water supply systems modeling and optimisation. She is particularly interested in integrating mathematical models into decision support systems. Data is key in model development, hence she explores all sources of data, from EO to in situ data and is for the FAIR data sharing.

Photo of Arjen Haag

Arjen Haag

Researcher / Consultant Hydrology and Water Management Deltares

Arjen is interested in the physical processes that shape our surroundings, especially the flow of water, and the proper management of our natural resources. He is a hydrologist and remote sensing analyst with a special interest in understanding high river discharges and floods. He combines hydrological knowledge with modelling, data-driven approaches and satellite observations, on topics ranging from water resource management to flood forecasting.

Software/Tool/(Web-)App

ISME-HYDRO

ISME-HYDRO is a platform that helps monitor water resources of dams, thus enabling water resources managers to better execute their duties. It employs linked data infrastructure integrating in-situ measurements, satellite data, GIS data, domain knowledge, deep learning, and provides capabilities of forecasting of water volumes, of alerting for hazardous situations, of interaction with the data through four kinds of search and GIS interactivity. The platform is easily extendable and customizable.