Collaboration with University of Tartu.
Water-FORCE: Water scenarios FOR Copernicus Exploitation
Surface and groundwaters and the environments in which they occur, represent some of the most vulnerable ecosystems to climate change and anthropogenic disturbance. In addition to water security, aquatic environments provide vital ecosystem services supporting for example: climate regulation, biodiversity, water provision, aquaculture, agriculture, fisheries, energy, transport and tourism. The growing number of users and uses, the increasing population, industrialisation and the continuous intensification of land use compound the impacts of climate change and extreme events. Despite this, only a small fraction of our waters are being effectively monitored and managed. Existing monitoring tends to be in isolation, inconsistent and fails to account for the water continuum at the basin scale, including connectivity with ground water and the oceans.
The increasing availability of free-to-access satellite data from missions such as the Copernicus programme is beginning to radically transform approaches to the assessment, monitoring and the sustainable management of inland, transitional and coastal systems, including the effective targeting of interventions and solutions. The last 5-10 years have witnessed a healthy escalation in research programmes, innovation and services funded by national and EC streams, some of which are now contributing to Copernicus services and others associated with H2020, ESA and nationally funded initiatives and research projects. As a result, this rapid growth has often resulted in overlapping capabilities and duplication. Moreover, the rate of technical advances often outpaces end-user capacity and, consequently, there has often been a lack of co-development with downstream end-user communities to ensure that the product and services are fit for purpose and meet real user requirements.
Whilst the global EO business opportunity has been are estimated to valued at $66 billion in 2020 and projected to continue to grow rapidly, there is a growing awareness of a lack of capacity to fully realise this prospect. The resulting opportunities necessitate the need to work closely with the science, space sector, business and policy communities to benchmark the state-of-the-art, and collectively identify development needs and priorities that will set the agenda for the next phase of research and innovation and capacity building.
By working hand-in-hand with these communities, Water-FORCE will encapsulate the on-going research and innovation in water quality and quantity observation to deliver a roadmap that will set the priorities and capacity building needs to deliver a coherent and consistent water observation strategy that meets the needs of the industry, policy and research communities as well as NGOs and international agencies. With a mission of delivering ‘better, cheaper, faster’, it is critical to that the next phase of EO exploitation not only works closely wih stakeholders and end users, but new opportunities of innovation are exploited, especially in areas of data assimilation into models to enable reliable higher level product development, filling of spatial and temporal gaps, delivering better forecasting, uncertainty estimation, and validated by smart in situ sensor networks including citizen scientists.