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 Bioinvasion on the rise
15.02.2017 | Universität Konstanz

nachricht Litter Levels in the Depths of the Arctic are On the Rise
10.02.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

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: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Impacts of mass coral die-off on Indian Ocean reefs revealed

21.02.2017 | Earth Sciences

Novel breast tomosynthesis technique reduces screening recall rate

21.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Use your Voice – and Smart Homes will “LISTEN”

21.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>