Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Space technology put into service for global water resources observations

15.11.2007
The world’s rivers, lakes, reservoirs and groundwater as well as snow fields and glaciers are the main sources of freshwater to support terrestrial life and human livelihoods.

Continuous observations are crucial to manage these water resources for the benefit of mankind and the environment and also to provide crucial forecasting services to prevent water-related disasters such as floods and droughts. These tasks are routinely undertaken by the National Hydrological Services of countries.

However, hydrological information is insufficient especially in developing countries and many areas of the world are currently not monitored for their water resources. Therefore, critical hydrological information that is necessary to manage the world’s water resources and prevent water-related disasters is inadequate especially in the developing world.

In this situation, remote-sensing techniques have demonstrated an extremely active innovation capacity in the field of continental waters during the last 20 years. They can now be used to locate water bodies and delineate river networks, to quantify and/or estimate water related variables such as precipitations, soil wetness, water levels, water storage, to monitor water balance of large river basins on time scales ranging from weeks to years, to quantify spatial parameters relevant for hydrological models and to provide real-time information for flood forecasting.

Among the most promising space missions are satellite altimetry missions, such as ESA's ERS and Envisat and NASA-CNES Topex-Poseidon, that provide surface water levels (lakes, reservoirs, rivers, wetlands and floodplains) and space gravity missions, like ESA's GOCE and NASA's GRACE, that provide estimates of the variations of terrestrial water storage (in soils, lakes, reservoirs and groundwater) in space and time. Used in conjunction with conventional observations and hydrological modelling, these observations from space also have the potential to improve significantly our understanding of hydrological processes affecting large river basins in response to climate variability and change.

An improved description of the continental part of the water cycle will be of major importance for the monitoring of water resources, for the identification of climate change impacts on the dynamics of river basins and aquatic ecosystems, for the inventory and better management of water resources available for human consumption and activities (agriculture, urbanisation, hydroelectric energy resources).

In this context, the second “Space for Hydrology” workshop, organised by ESA in collaboration with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), was held in Geneva, from 12-14 November 2007. It follows the first workshop, held in Toulouse, France, in September 2003.

The workshop was attended by close to 100 experts from 27 countries from the science community, the developing world, hydrologists and the space agencies. The workshop aimed to assess the current stage of knowledge and activities in space-based hydrological observations undertaken by several countries through their space agencies and to exchange knowledge and know how with hydrologists and researchers.

The workshop showed the efforts undertaken to bring space technologies into service for water resources management and disaster prevention and concluded that further investments in dedicated hydrological satellite missions are necessary to improve timeliness and accuracy of space-based hydrological observations and modelling for water resource assessments and forecasting services to make them fully operational for use by the hydrological services of the world in the next few years.

Mariangela D'Acunto | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esa.int/esaEO/SEM9QL53R8F_planet_0.html

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Scientists team up on study to save endangered African penguins
16.11.2017 | Florida Atlantic University

nachricht Climate change: Urban trees are growing faster worldwide
13.11.2017 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Previous evidence of water on mars now identified as grainflows

21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope completes final cryogenic testing

21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New catalyst controls activation of a carbon-hydrogen bond

21.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>