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A collaborative project aimed at pre-validation of a GMES Global Water Scarcity Information Service

Final Report Summary - GLOWASIS (A collaborative project aimed at pre-validation of a GMES Global Water Scarcity Information Service)

This final project report describes the FP7 project GLOWASIS (‘A collaborative project aimed at pre-validation of a GMES Global Water Scarcity Information Service’), running from January 2012 until March 2013. It comprises a summary description of the project context and objectives, a description of the main S&T results, the potential impact (including the socioeconomic impact of the project) and the main dissemination activities and exploitation of results. It also includes a plan for the use and dissemination of foreground, to spread awareness.

The GLOWASIS project has had a duration of two years and three months and has started in January 2011. The project has pre-validated a COPERNICUS/GMES Global Service for Water Scarcity Information. In European, African and global pilots we have combined societal water demand data with hydrological models, in-situ and satellite derived water cycle information to derive water scarcity data. The project has added value to JRC's European Drought Observatory seasonal forecasting skills and to JRC's reporting for the Blueprint on Safeguarding Europe’s Water Resources. We have created historical time series and have made the first step in creating global operational water scarcity forecasts. The open data from the GLOWASIS project contains water cycle information from water demand, satellites and meteorological and hydrological models and can be used by river basin agencies to add value to their drought forecasting research. Besides its outstanding scientific results and firm links to GEO/GEOSS, the project also features a popular website, where awareness for the complexity of water scarcity is created by visualizing our data in animations, blogs by experts and a daily newspaper on water scarcity and drought.

The GLOWASIS service uses data from GMES Core Services LMCS Geoland2 and Marine Core Service MyOcean, agricultural and industrial water use and demand and additional water-cycle information from existing global satellite services. Also, data sources from GEWEX’ initiatives (i.e. International Soil Moisture network) and GEOSS are promoted. Indepth interviews and advisory workshops with UN-WFP, UN-FAO, EEA and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology have taken place. GLOWASIS plays a role in the joint drought-flooding forecasting platform within the new Group on Earth Observation 2012 Work Plan, GEO task WA-01-C2: ‘Information Systems for Hydro-Meteorological Extremes (Incl. Floods and Droughts)’. International advisors have acknowledged the added value of the project (e.g. “GLOWASIS results demonstrate that integrating water scarcity into COPERNICUS climate and land services is needed and feasible”). We hope to have created a user-scientist community to guide earth observation scientists to more efficient innovation for the specific purpose of water scarcity assessment and forecasting.

The most important scientific results of the project have been:
- Seasonal forecasts on water scarcity and drought with a better known uncertainty;
- Long-term (decade or more) time series of drought parameters observed by satellites or modeled (or combined);
- The use of additional satellite sources for drought and water scarcity assessment and forecasting;
- Setting the path towards drought warning indicators for decision makers;
- Open data dissemination of all our datasets;
- 20+ peer reviewed papers (a.o. Nature and Science).

The costs for exploitation of the project results in a GMES/Copernicus Service have been estimated at 817,802 EUR for a period over three years. Without this budget we cannot guarantee the operational exploitation of the open data GLOWASIS portal and data servers.