Title: Satellite-based UNESCO World Water Quality Portal: Monitoring freshwater quality from space using Earth Observation
Presenter: Sarantuyaa Zandaryaa, Programme Specialist, Division of Water Sciences – Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (IHP), UNESCO
Date: January 9, 2020, 2pm UTC
Abstract: Water quality information is essential for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) implementation and monitoring. However, data on freshwater quality are scarce at the global, regional and national levels, due to the lack of monitoring networks and capacity. In particular, reliable data on water quality is scarce, or non-existent, in remote areas and developing countries. Innovative approaches such as using Earth Observation (EO) and satellite images can enhance global water quality data.
The webinar aims to demonstrate and enhance awareness on the use of EO for inland freshwater quality monitoring, by presenting the application of satellite-based UNESCO World Water Quality in demonstration basins in different regions of the world.
Under the International Initiative on Water Quality of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme, UNESCO has developed a pioneering satellite-based UNESCO World Water Quality Portal with the aim to enhance data and knowledge on freshwater water quality at the global level. The UNESCO Portal provides open access information on freshwater quality at scales from global to basin using remote sensing data (i.e, satellite images).
The UNESCO Portal provides data on five key indicators of the state of water quality: turbidity and sedimentation distribution, chlorophyll-a, Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB), organic absorption and surface temperature. These indicators also provide information on the impact of other sectors and land uses such as urban areas, fertilizer use in agriculture, climate change or dam and reservoir management. For example, tracking changes in turbidity (the degree to which light is backscattered by particles in the water) is useful when monitoring sediment plumes from dredging and dumping activities. Chlorophyll-a is a pigment found in phytoplankton cells, while the HAB indicator shows possible areas affected by harmful algae blooms formed by cyanobacteria containing phycocyanin. The UNESCO Portal uses satellite-derived optical data from Landsat and Sentinel-2 satellites, which are open access.
The UNESCO World Water Quality Portal addresses an urgent need to enhance the knowledge base and access to information in order to better understand the impacts of climate- and human-induced change on water security. It will facilitate science-based, informed decision-making for water management and support Member States’ efforts in implementing the SDG 6, as well as several other Goals and Targets that are linked directly to water quality and water pollution.
The UNESCO Portal allows everyone with open access to information on water quality in every part of the world and thus supports information and knowledge for all, leaving no one behind.
Speaker Bio: Sarantuyaa Zandaryaa has a postdoctoral degree on Environment and Sustainable Development from United Nations University in Japan and a doctoral degree on Environmental Engineering from University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’ in Italy. She also has a postgraduate diploma on International Environmental Law-making and Diplomacy.
Sarantuyaa coordinates the UNESCO-IHP’s International Initiative on Water Quality (IIWQ) and leads IHP activities on water quality and wastewater. She has developed several UNESCO projects on emerging issues and innovative approaches to water quality such as: satellite-based water quality monitoring; emerging pollutants; nature-based solutions to water quality; and climate change and water quality. She has developed the concept of the satellite-based UNESCO World Water Quality Portal to enhance open access water quality data at the global level.
Between 2007 and 2015, Sarantuyaa was responsible for UNESCO-IHP’s urban water activities, implemented IHP projects on integrated urban water management, and coordinated the publication of UNESCO Urban Water Series, comprising eight major books. Sarantuyaa has published numerous research and policy publications (books, research journal papers, technical reports, policy reports, etc.) and has contributed as lead author of chapters in UNESCO-EOLLS Encyclopedia and United Nations World Water Development Reports.
Title: National Ecological Observatory Network: Open data for ecological research and monitoring from across the US
Presenters: Battelle Ecology’s Bobby Hensley (Research Scientist, Aquatic Ecology) and Tristen Goulden (Lead Research Scientist, Remote Sensing)
Date: Nov. 21, 2pm UTC
Abstract: The National Science Foundation’s National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) is an ecological observation facility, funded by US’s National Science Foundation. NEON collects and provides open data from 81 field sites across the United States that characterize and quantify how the nation’s ecosystems are changing. The observatory includes 81 field sites (47 terrestrial and 34 aquatic) located in different ecosystems across the United States (including Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico). Data collection methods are standardized across sites and include automated instrument measurements, observational field sampling, and airborne remote sensing surveys. This webinar will provide an introduction to NEON and the over 175 data products with an emphasis on the aquatics and remote sensing data and infrastructure. More about the NEON program can be found at www.neonscience.org.
Presenter Bios: Bobby Hensley, NEON Research Scientist – Aquatic Ecology Bobby is an aquatic biogeochemist on the Aquatic Instruments science team. He has a background in using in-situ sensors to understand controls on stream metabolism and nutrient spiraling. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Florida.
Tristan Goulden, NEON Lead Research Scientist – Remote Sensing Tristan is a remote sensing scientist with NEON specializing in LiDAR. He also co-lead NEON’s Remote Sensing Integrated Product Team which focusses on developing algorithms and associated documentation for all of NEON’s remote sensing data products. His past research focus has been on characterizing uncertainty in LiDAR observations/processing and propagating the uncertainty into downstream data products. His past experience in LiDAR has included all aspects of the LIDAR workflow including; mission planning, airborne operations, processing of raw data, and development of higher level data products.
Title: The Online Cyanobacteria Warning and Information Service from Satellite Remote Sensing
Date: 4 April 2019, 14:00 UTC
This webinar was presented by Dr. Mark Matthews, founder and Director of CyanoLakes(Pty) Ltd, a commercial earth observation service provider. Dr. Matthews specialised in bio-optical remote sensing of cyanobacteria blooms and their detection from space. He graduated from the University of Cape Town in 2014 with a thesis entitled “distinguishing cyanobacteria from algae using bio-optical remote sensing”. He has published several papers in internationally recognised journals in the field, and is the author of the chapter on bio-optical modelling of chlorophyll-a in the textbook “Bio-optical modelling and remote sensing of inland waters”. Since graduating he has led several projects funded by the Water Research Commission in South Africa and the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme. He founded CyanoLakes (Pty) Ltd in 2015 after winning the Copernicus Masters Ideas Challenge for best business idea for earth observation data. As the director of CyanoLakes (Pty) Ltd he is passionate about bringing the benefits of earth observation innovations to governmental water and health authorities, utilities and industry around the world through CyanoLakes’s online public health information service offering. *******************************
Abstract: At CyanoLakes we help water utilities and government agencies monitor toxin producing cyanobacteria blooms in their source waters, helping them use their limited resources more effectively and become more informed and responsive. During this talk we will discover how water utilities and government authorities can use CyanoLakes paid services to enhance and supplement their ongoing monitoring programs.
Title: Why a new generation of EO sensors for water quality needs a new generation of in situ validation instruments?
Date: 31 January 2019, 14:00 UTC
This webinar will be presented by Dr. Marnix Laanen, co-founder and co-owner of Water Insight, an SME dedicated to water quality remote sensing using both image data and close sensing in situ spectrometers based in Wageningen, The Netherlands. He has a PhD. in Earth and Life Sciences from the Vrije Universteit of Amsterdam specialising in the retrieval of Coloured Dissolved Organic Matter from close sensing spectra validated by laboratory in situ sampling. Within Water Insight Marnix is involved in various H2020 projects and in the optical instrument development (both WISP-3 and WISPstation).
Abstract: With the launch of the Sentinel 2 and 3 satellites a new generation of EO sensors is commissioned. However, the use of the current in situ validation instruments for these new sensors might not suffice for a number of reasons, especially for water quality retrieval. The atmospheric correction methods for S2 and S3 over surface water are still in development and is troublesome for S2 (as having a band setting primarily for land applications). In this webinar we will explore the requirements for a new generation of in situ optical instruments for S2 and S3 sensor validation.
GEMS/Water: Evolving a Global Long-term Water Quality Data Repository
27 September 2018
This webinar, coauthored by Philipp Saile (Hydrologist, Coordinator), was presented by Dmytro Lisniak (Hydrologist, Data Analyst) of the GEMS/Water Data Centre, operated by the International Centre for Water Resources and Global Change (ICWRGC), German Federal Institute of Hydrology.
Abstract: The Global Environment Monitoring System for freshwater (GEMS/WATER) was the first programme of its kind to address global issues of water quality through a network of monitoring stations in rivers, lakes, reservoirs and groundwater on a global scale. Technical cooperation with developing countries was the main focus of GEMS/WATER during its first phase. The program has contributed to the establishment and expansion of national water quality monitoring systems in many countries. Current engagements focus on increasing the availability and promoting the shared access to quality assured data that serves as a base for evidence informed decision making, the facilitation of quality assessments to inform policy makers and the support of work on indicators for the Sustainable Development Goals. In order to provide the information and knowledge base for the development and implementation of policies and sustainable management of freshwater ecosystems worldwide, the GEMS/WATER programme is evolving into an open, collaborative water quality data, information and knowledge hub.
Special Horizon2020 Monocle/GEO AquaWatch co-hosted webinar!
Sustainability of Future Environmental Observation Networks
24 October 2018
For this seminar, invited speakers/panellists were MONOCLE Expert Advisory Board members Debbie Chapman (University College Cork and UN Environment GEMS/Water), Henrik Steen Andersen (European Environment Agency) and Steve Greb (GEO AquaWatch,University of Wisconsin-Madison) and MONOCLE contributors, Kathrin Poser (Water Insight,WP5 lead) and Oliver Clements (PML).
Abstract: The third MONOCLE webinar in the series addresses sustainability of environmental monitoring networks, in particular hybrid services of in situ and satellite observation networks. How do we safeguard long-term measurement series while sensor technology continues to improve? How should data collection be funded to be sustainable? How should a multi-scale observation network feed into regional and global reporting strategies?
An overview on current water quality monitoring policy and challenges will be presented, including discussion of how MONOCLE research may contribute to reaching the European and global monitoring goals.
CyanoAlert – Space based cyanobacteria information & services
27 November 2018
This webinar will be presented by Petra Philipson, PhD in aquatic remote
sensing and remote sensing consultant since 2003. Co-founder, vice manager
and consultant at Brockmann Geomatics since 2011, with personal interest and
focus on aquatic national, European and global assignments and research and
Abstract: CyanoAlert is a three-year project funded by the European Commission ending in spring 2020 (www.cyanoalert.com). The project aims to provide customers in government, commercial and environmental sectors with up-to-date, accurate and relevant information on the health risks posed by cyanobacteria blooms in water bodies through utilising Copernicus Satellite Earth Observation data. The service will offer weekly updates, forecasts, and near real-time information on cyanobacteria blooms and eutrophication (chlorophyll-a) through its service portal and mobile application. The webinar is a presentation of on-going project activities and results achieved so far.