Space Technologies for Water Management

"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." (ESA, 2007)


"Space technology put into service for global water resources observations". Observing the earth, ESA. Last modified November 14, 2007.….
Accessed February 14, 2019.