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Water scenarios For Copernicus Exploitation

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Water-ForCE (Water scenarios For Copernicus Exploitation)

Reporting period: 2021-01-01 to 2021-12-31

Inland waters play a key role in human health and well-being as a source of drinking water, food, recreation, and tourism. They support biodiversity and ecosystems services and play a role in the global element cycles. Inland waters are under severe anthropogenic pressures (eutrophication, invasive species, water extraction, etc.). Of the 117 million lakes on Earth a tiny fraction (0.0001%) is monitored regularly, limiting our ability to understand and manage the global water cycle. Earth Observation has a critical role to fully understand the impacts on the ecosystem services provided by aquatic environments. Water scarcity and water quality are global problems for which detailed monitoring is critical. Water data are needed to support the EU legislation and policies. The Copernicus Services are providing valuable information to solve those problems.
The current six Copernicus Services deliver water quality or water quantity related products. The aim of Water-ForCE is to develop a plan for further evolution of Copernicus water related services. We will develop a Roadmap for Copernicus Water products that will address the needs of the stakeholders and users, technological developments in space and in situ instrumentation, progress in relevant fields of science and propose the most optimal way forward.
The work carried out during the first reporting period is reflected in the deliverables and initiatives made by every thematic work package (WP):

WP1 analyzes the current EU Policies, Services and Stakeholders related to the water cycle, to identify and understand the needs and opportunities for innovation. The work performed during the first reporting period included identification of different stakeholder groups and analyzing sectoral policies. The stakeholders were identified based on:
• Sector
• Relevant thematic area
• Previous engagement with EO community
• Aquatic system type
• Geographical level of activities
• EO familiarity
We identified 47 policies and legislations affecting public domains relevant to the inland water cycle and analysed their overlaps and gaps, as well as bottlenecks and opportunities for future development.
WP2 - Water Quality Continuum proposes, based on the technological advancements and policy-driven requirements identified in WP1, the most effective way to provide different water quality products under the Copernicus services. The global knowledge on the topic was gathered by meeting with an international working group of experts on water quality remote sensing where we performed gap analysis of current Copernicus water quality related products, made preliminary recommendations for future Copernicus water quality products and gave recommendations on improvements of next generation Sentinel-2 spectral and spatial characteristics to make them more useful for water quality remote sensing.
WP3 - Water Quantity provides insight on the Copernicus water quantity products and services supporting water management and modelling including state-of-the-art and gap analysis.
An international working group with water quantity remote sensing specialists and water resources experts was established. The experts indicated several issues solving of which should make the use of Copernicus water quantity related products and services more effective.
The WP3 team performed a mapping of current water quantity related Copernicus based products and services.It was found that the Copernicus Services already offer an extensive amount and high variety of data products and tools related to water quantity and the hydrological cycle and that there is a high demand for elaborated products related to drought, (sub)soil properties evapotranspiration, floods and characteristics of water bodies.
WP4 - Aligning in situ and satellite Earth observation activities will establish links between in situ and satellite observation networks to ensure that they can mutually benefit from data collection and sharing.
An international working group of specialist working on collecting in situ data about inland water quality and quantity was consolidated. Many recommendations were made during their workshop and related questionnaire on how to improve relevant in situ data collection and how to link the data collection better with calibration and validation of remote sensing products.
WP5 - Modelling and data assimilation will augment the knowledge acquired in WP1-WP4 by identifying the potential for future use of different satellite EO in modelling of water resources for support of decision makers towards adaptive management of water resources and policy implementation.
The main output of the Water-ForCE project will be the Roadmap for Copernicus Inland Water Services which will be compiled by the WP6. A Roadmap Outline has been developed, drafted M7, circulated to all partners, shared with the Advisory Board and discussed with the Executive Board, as well as with policy experts and General Assembly.

As a joint effort of WP1 and WP8 (Coordination and Management), WP7 (Dissemination and Communication) a Policy Experts Workshop was organized related to Copernicus water component evolution. 40 experts from the EU Agencies and institutions, entrusted entities, Copernicus Academy, ESA, and international organizations were engaged.
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Water-ForCE will deliver as main results:
• A Roadmap for the water component of future Copernicus services proposing scenarios how the water related services should be optimally provided.
• Technical requirements for future Copernicus missions.
• Enlarging service portfolio and improved performance of the current products.
• Closer cooperation between remote sensing, in situ and modelling communities to satisfy the needs of policy makers, managers, researchers and the public.
The potential impacts of the project can be summarized as follows:
1.-Increased coverage of EU policies
Water-ForCE will identify key users of Copernicus water related services within the different public domains and business sectors and evaluate whether operational services can meet their needs. We will address the current monitoring and reporting needs and future possibilities for the development and implementation of EU policies related to water quality and quantity.
The potential for future use of different satellite EO data in modelling of water resources for support of decision makers towards adaptive management of water resources and policy implementation will be identified and the findings will be integrated to demonstrate the value of satellite EO-enhanced models for policy and decision making.
2.- Define New Water Scenarios for Copernicus Programme
The Roadmap for Copernicus Inland Water related Services will be the reference document that will summarize all the internal and external knowledge gathered as part of the Water-ForCE project. The Roadmap will propose scenarios how to organize the water related Copernicus services in the most optimal way to satisfy the needs of different user communities from local authorities, businesses and researchers to international organizations and the EU policy makers
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