WorldWater in a nutshell

The use of EO data for monitoring water resources is increasingly being recognized and accepted as a viable source of information for practitioners and decision-makers. Through the lens of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 and specific use case studies, the WorldWater project will demonstrate how global coverage EO data can be used to systematically and accurately measure inland surface water resources. WorldWater will complement existing EO initiatives and projects, such as Global Surface Water Explorer and the Copernicus global land service, by further developing EO tools and products. The aim is to effectively use the most up to date, open and free satellite data, primarily from the Sentinel missions, for improved monitoring of the world’s inland water resources in both their extent and volume.

Expected outputs:

  • Innovative EO-based method to monitor the intra-annual and inter-annual variations of open surface waters consistent with UNEP Freshwater Ecosystems Explorer developed for the SDG Indicator 6.6.1 on water-related ecosystem;
  • Open-source and free-of-charge software toolbox;
  • Toolbox integration on a cloud computing infrastructure;
  • Large-scale demonstration and validation (10 countries/river basins);
  • Use cases related to sustainable water management;
  • Surface Water Data Analytics portal(s) with data visualisation, statistics and analytics;
  • Scientific Paper on a Round Robin comparison of EO methods for surface water dynamics;
  • Capacity building material.


ESA technical officer

Marc Paganini

Marc Paganini is a technical officer of the European Space Agency (ESA). He belongs to the Science, Application and Climate Department of the ESA Directorate of Earth Observation Programmes. He has more than 25 years of experience in Earth Observation satellite missions.

Project lead

Christian Tøttrup

Christian is a Senior Project Manager at DHI GRAS with nearly 20 years of experience in providing specialised remote sensing and GIS technical services to projects worldwide. A particular focus has been on the use of remote sensing, GIS and geospatial analysis for understanding environmental dynamics and their relationship to water resources management.

Senior researcher at DTU

Karina Nielsen

Karina is a Senior researcher at DTU Space with vast experience in satellite altimetry. Karina holds a PhD degree from The Technical University of Denmark focusing on changes of the Greenland ice sheet observed by altimetry and uplift models. She has been involved in several projects funded by ESA and the European union focusing on satellite altimetry for hydrological applications.

Head of Programme at GRID-ARendal

Clever Mafuta

Clever has more than 15 years of experience in environmental assessment and reporting, and project management. His academic background is in agriculture, being a holder of a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Agriculture and a Masters in Crop Protection, both from the University of Zimbabwe. Clever also studied for a Masters in Business Administration with the Nottingham Trent University. He is now the head of programme for the Waste and Marine Litter programme at GRID-Arendal. 

Head of Research and Innovation at GeoVille

Michael riffler

Michael Riffler leads the Research & Innovation unit at GeoVille and has more than 14 years of working experience in remote sensing, Earth observation, and meteorology. A particular focus of Michael’s work has been developing land monitoring and mapping applications with a specific emphasis on water-related ecosystems considering optical and radar-based sensors.

Head of Software Development at Gisat

Michal Opletal

Michal is Head of the Software development department at Gisat and responsible for managing a team of web designers and developers. Michal holds a PhD degree from Process and Chemical Engineering. Michal has wide multidisciplinary experiences from his previous academic and commercial career covering engineering, management, data science and IT development.  At the Gisat, he has been participated in the number of ESA/EC funded projects (e.g. : ESPON Fuore, Urban Tep, EO4SD, PUCS – Clime-fit…)


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