Making sense of the Water value chain in Australia

Shortages of freshwater will be one of the most pressing problems in feeding the world this century. To optimize use of available water it is important to distribute it wisely across the planet. WaterSENSE  provides water managers with a toolbox of reliable and actionable information on water availability and water use, anywhere in the world, in support of sustainable water management and transparency across the entire water value chain. The goal of WaterSENSE is to develop a modular, operational, water-monitoring system built on Copernicus Earth observation data.

Our services

Within WaterSENSE we have developed a toolkit of modular, operational water services. Our services integrate Copernicus RS data, ground radar, models, in-situ data, and novel research. Our services are available through a flexible web-based platform with an intuitive UI as well as a comprehensive API. We offer a flexible service subscription model for all our services.

Irrigation monitoring: where, when, how much

We offer an inexpensive, fast and scalable approach to monitor irrigation with a scientifically based method. Our information products include crop water monitoring (ETact) and water use quantification.

Near real-time irrigated area mapping

Our irrigated area mapping service distinguishes between irrigated and rainfed cropland and offers water managers an accurate and high-resolution view that is regularly updated, mitigating the need for inefficient field visits.

High-quality radar rainfall information

Under normal conditions rain gauges measure precipitation with high accuracy, but with limited spatial representativeness depending on the meteorological conditions. In contrast, radar data is ideally suited to represent spatial precipitation patterns with greater uncertainties in precipitation amounts at point scale compared to rain gauges. Our service carefully combines quality-controlled data from automatically reporting rain gauges and radar data resulting in a dataset with a high accuracy, a good temporal and spatial resolution, and a low latency, together with a good spatial coverage.

Discover all our services

The WaterSENSE Project

The world faces a rapid and unprecedented change in water availability during the current century. The past few decades have shown that current climate change is resulting in more frequent extreme weather, with excessive floods and droughts and, more importantly, shifts of climate zones. These, in turn, are leading to historically favorable locations for agriculture sometimes being transformed into devastatingly dry areas. Meanwhile, global population increase is resulting in vulnerable water resources becoming depleted in many locations.

Shortages of freshwater will be one of the most pressing problems in feeding the world this century. To optimize use of available water it is important to distribute it wisely over the various competing interests, in particular agriculture, which is responsible for 70% of all freshwater use. Irrigation is currently often unsustainable, while groundwater reserves are becoming depleted and many places in the world are suffering water shortages.

Action is therefore required now to use space and in-situ monitoring systems, to create a better sense of water availability and optimize use across the planet.

WaterSENSE will provide water-availability and mapping services for any place in the world at different time and space resolutions, based on integrated Copernicus data, hydrological models; and local data.

Water auditing

Water Auditing WaterSENSE project

WaterSENSE will deliver essential value-added services of monitoring compliance of local water use against water rights and regulations: water auditing. The first application is in the multi-climate Murray-Darling Basin in Australia, followed by validation in South Africa and the Netherlands.

Novel Research

Novel research in the project focuses on scalable information services, based on satellite water monitoring, advanced big-data processing algorithms, to determine variables such as evapotranspiration, irrigation water use, rainfall and soil moisture, as well as machine learning to allow automatic data processing and reduce uncertainty in the hydrological variables determined.

Earth Australia

WaterSense Consortium Partners

  • Logo eLEAF
  • logo HidroMod
  • Logo HydroLogic Research
  • Logo hydro&meteo
  • Logo University of Sydney
  • Logo Water Technology
  • Logo HCP International

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme (H2020-SPACE-2018-2020) under grant agreement No. 870344.