In this second Newsletter you will find a digest of the latest project achievements as well as a summary of recent and upcoming activities and events.
Please follow this space to stay updated and do not hesitate to get in touch for more information.

Project highlights

  • Developing robust and operational Earth Observation (EO) methods and tools for surface water dynamics monitoring, applicable at a global scale.

  • Integrating EO products and tools in a data analytics platform to foster the wider usage of EO data and surface water dynamics products for country and basin scale water resource monitoring and reporting

  • Building national capacities to better monitor and report on water resources using EO through user workshops, training courses and awareness events.

Since the last newsletter the WorldWater team has been heavily involved in the algorithm development and testing including organization and execution of a Round Robin inter-comparison of EO-based algorithms for surface water detection. The round robin is key to WorldWater as the involved algorithm comparison and the associated statistical validation will help underpin the credibility of the final open-source software package for monitoring surface water dynamics at global scale. Other important activities include continued liaison with the national stakeholder in the pilot countries, planning and organization of review meetings and participation and contribution to EO and water related events.


Over the years there has been many promising studies on EO-based surface water mapping, but a systematic evaluation of algorithms and models is lacking. Therefore, the WorldWater project has organized a Round Robin inter-comparison of 15 models for monitoring inland surface dynamics with Sentinel-1, Sentinel-2 and Landsat 8 imagery. The objective was to achieve a better understanding of the pros and cons of different sensors and models for surface water detection and monitoring. Read the full background and summary of first results here

Successful Milestone Reviews

On June 16th the preliminary design review (PDR) was successfully held online to review the WorldWater surface dynamics products and algorithms, based on the experimental and trade-off analyses conducted by the WorldWater team and on the round-robin comparison of methods. Since the PDR review the team has focused on the design engineering part of the software solution for both for the end-to-end processing chains and for the surface water data and analytics portal. On the 6th and 7th of December the Critical Design Review (CDR) was held as an acceptance meeting of the Proof-of-Concept in terms of products and indicators, the associated validation plan and the design justifications and specification for the software toolbox and the data analytics portal. The CDR marks the end of the initial prototyping phase, and to be followed by second phase with a focus on system implementation and system deployment for large-scale national demonstrations. All scheduled to take place within 2022.


The 2021 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS) took place as a virtual conference from 11 to 16 of July, 2021. The WorldWater
consortium was represented by DHI-GRAS with remote sensing specialist, Dr. Cécile M. M. Kittel, presenting her work on using multi-mission remote sensing data to optimize a hydrological model over the poorly instrumented Ogooué river in Gabon. The recording of the presentation from IGARSS as well as the conference proceedings paper can be viewed and downloaded here.

Join us at the World Water Week 2021 digital event from 23 to 27 August! |  Tierras y Aguas | Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Alimentación  y la Agricultura |
On 23-27 August the 2021 edition of World Water Week was held as a full-scale digital event and featuring a presentation by UN-Water on the ‘2021 Progress Updates’ reports for seven SDG 6 global indicators. All reports can be read and downloaded here and acting as a  clear illustration on how global Earth Observation systems along with other geospatial information can help document where and why changes in the extent of water-related ecosystems are occurring – information which is important for water managers to formulate laws and steer practices for the effective protection and restoration of freshwater ecosystems.