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 Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
08.02.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

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: Attoseconds break into atomic interior

A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.

In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...

Im Focus: Good vibrations feel the force

A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.

By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Basque researchers turn light upside down

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator

23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Attoseconds break into atomic interior

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>