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Interview with Arjen Haag, Researcher and Consultant in hydrology and water management at Deltares

Arjen Haag is a hydrologist and remote sensing analyst working at the Operational Water Management & Early Warning department of Deltares. We talk to him about the role that earth observation plays in his projects, SERVIR-Mekong, his experiences in the space and water sector and his vision for innovation in the remote sensing community. We ask him about challenges related to flood mapping and forecasting, whether water data should be shared openly and the transfer of knowledge to those needing it the most. He shares his insights on the use of satellite data, algorithms and models, as well as artificial intelligence and machine learning. And finally, why sandcastles were important for all of this.

European Space Agency’s “Water Scarcity” Kick-Start

The challenge

Water is one of the most important substances on Earth and covers 70% of the planet. However, freshwater makes up a very small fraction with 97% being saline and ocean-based. While the amount of freshwater on the planet has remained fairly constant over time, the world’s population has exploded, meaning that freshwater is threatened by significant forces, like overdevelopment, polluted runoff, and global warming. 


Haag Person

Photo of Arjen Haag

Arjen Haag

Researcher / Consultant Hydrology and Water Management Deltares

Arjen is interested in the physical processes that shape our surroundings, especially the flow of water, and the proper management of our natural resources. He is a hydrologist and remote sensing analyst with a special interest in understanding high river discharges and floods. He combines hydrological knowledge with modelling, data-driven approaches and satellite observations, on topics ranging from water resource management to flood forecasting.


Water, Peace and Security Partnership

WPS is a partnership of research and civil society organizations that work together towards identifying water-related risks of human insecurity, fragility and conflict, and towards developing analytical and dialogue tools for preventing and mitigating such conflicts. WPS is a collaboration between the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a consortium of six partners: IHE Delft (lead partner), World Resources Institute (WRI), Deltares, The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS), Wetlands International and International Alert.


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