Worldwater project begins

The project is set to provide invaluable data to tackle the impending global water crisis.

1 July, 2020

Arendal, Norway – The new application project “World Water – Surface Water Dynamics” is now starting, with the goal of demonstrating how global coverage earth observation (EO) data can be used to systematically and accurately measure inland surface water resources. The international consortium that will be developing and executing the project, contracted by the European Space Agency (ESA), consists of DHI GRAS, GeoVille GmbH, GISAT, GRID-Arendal and the Technical University of Denmark (DTU).

"WorldWater is about empowering users so they can independently use Earth Observation to perform dynamic surface water monitoring within their area of jurisdiction. In doing so WorldWater will contribute to better water resource management and increased ability for users to report in response to the global water agenda."
Christian Tøttrup
Project Lead, DHI GRAS

Through the lens of Sustainable Development Goal 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. The project will be complementing existing EO initiatives and projects, such as Global Surface Water Explore and the Copernicus global land services. WorldWater will accomplish this by further developing EO tools and products 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 extent and volume.

WorldWater is structured around four key activities. These include the development and provision of EO methods and tools for monitoring applicable at a global scale, the demonstration of the suitability and scalability of the project’s products and integrating them into a data analytics platform to foster wider usage of EO data. Finally, the project will be supporting users and improving national capacities to better monitor and report on water resources.

WorldWater is a crucial project aiming to address the critical needs of authorities, at all levels, to adapt and formulate water policies, and report on water resources, in a timely manner and based on valid scientific information. It will provide essential tools and information to strengthen evidence-based planning and management to support authorities in addressing the global ‘water crisis’.

The project is set to take place over the course of 2 years with trials and testing beginning with 5 pilot countries and expanding to cover 10 countries in total. As the consortium gathers, the initial step will consist in establishing relationships with pilot countries and select initial locations.



Christian Tøttrup, DHI GRAS,