EO for Water Cycle Science 2020

ESA and GEWEX organized from the 16th to 19th November 2020 a virtual event “EO for Water Cycle Science 2020”. This Conference aimed at reviewing the latest advances in the use of Earth Observation (EO) technology for scientific questions related to the water cycle and its applications, exploring the potential offered by the coming EO as well as the main challenges and opportunities for the coming decade.

The programme dedicated one session to the Water Observation and monitoring in the context of the Future Horizon Partnership Water4All – Water security for the planet. This session combined:

  • an introduction by Hans STIELSTRA (European Commission, DG ENV) to the adopted and forthcoming EC policy initiatives relevant for water,
  • a description by Olivier BOUC (ANR) of the objectives of the Water4All partnership and the possible role there for the Earth Observation community,

and technical point of views of various actors:

  • Jaap KWADIJK (Deltares) on the needs for data in the water and flood management in the Netherlands,
  • Klara RAMM (EUREAU - member of the Mission Board “Healthy Oceans, Seas, Coastal and Inland Waters”) on the needs from a water utility perspective,
  • Jan POLCHER (GEWEX) on the EO data needs for global water cycle science,
  • Espen VOLDEN (ESA) on the various ESA’s activities for the water community.

The session delivered valuable inputs for further consideration in the context of the Water4All partnership or the joint EC-ESA cooperation, or other programmes; in particular:

  • the need for addressing still important research gaps, such as migration in soils and water of pollutants like Persistent Mobile Toxic substances, or the modelling of flows and of floods, water-scarcity, droughts;
  • large scale observation networks needs;
  • the need to address ways to strengthen the use of observation data by end-users and decision-maker;
  • the developments of the Digital Twin Earth and Digital Twin Oceans, where freshwater has to be strengthened.

The summary of the sessions will soon be available on the event’s website.