Ongoing research project |
2014 - 2017

Global Water Resources Reanalysis

EartH2Observe “Global Earth Observation for Integrated Water Resource Assessment” is a collaborative project funded by the European Union. The overall objective is to contribute to the assessment of global water resources through the use of new earth observation datasets and techniques. Integrating earth observations, in-situ datasets and models, the project will construct a consistent global water resources reanalysis dataset spanning at least 30 years. The resulting datasets will be made available through an open Water Cycle Integrator (WCI) data portal: the European contribution to the GEOSS/WCI approach. The datasets will be downscaled for application in regional and local case studies, and optimized to support water management and decision-making at European and local level.

Estimating global water resources is a grand challenge implying the largest use of global earth observations provided by a variety of sources and instruments. Earth-system modelling components developed for hydrometeorological and environment applications can ingest earth observations, enabling the provision of continuous maps of present and past conditions. These characterise the status of global water resources in soil, snow, inland water bodies, and rivers. They also show water trends over time and the severity of water-cycle extreme events. This elaborated information is vital to provide support for water-related actions and planning in an informed decision-making process.

Role of ECMWF

ECMWF is leading work package 5, dedicated to producing a global reanalysis of water resources and designed to provide a measure of the added-value of earth observations. The ways in which earth observations can lead to improved water cycle estimates are multiple and are reflected in the different tasks and partners in the work package. With environmental, hydrological and meteorological expertise, the partners will employ a variety of models and techniques for data assimilation, calibration-validation, and model-data fusion. This approach will enable the project to provide an estimate of the overall uncertainties together with estimates of the mean water resources.

The links between work package 5 and the other work packages, in particular the verification and the case studies, are essential to provide independent evaluations of EartH2Observe reanalyses products. They will also help to bridge the scale and the context, from global to local, and from science to society.

More information

EartH2Observe website

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Framework Programme under grant agreement number 603608.