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Earth Observation based services for Monitoring and Reporting of Ecological Status

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - EOMORES (Earth Observation based services for Monitoring and Reporting of Ecological Status)

Reporting period: 2017-12-01 to 2020-01-31

Lakes and coastal water have a great impact on the local ecology and human welfare and provide ecosystem services in multiple and sometimes conflicting ways. Understanding the state of these water bodies is therefore of great interest. This is recognized by several policies, including the Bathing Water Directive and the Water Framework Directive (WFD).
Traditionally, water monitoring involves field work for sample collection and laboratory work. Labour makes this method costly and time-consuming. Moreover, due to limited reachability of sampling locations and a sparse frequency it sometimes fails to capture the spatial and temporal dynamics in water quality.
By combining Earth Observation data for spatial insights with innovative in situ instruments for high-frequent information and ecological models for forecasting, EOMORES services are designed to ensure comprehensive monitoring of water quality in coastal or inland water bodies. EOMORES services will support (inter)national and regional authorities responsible for the monitoring and management of and reporting on water quality e.g. for the WFD, as well as private entities active in the field such as dredging companies.
In the first year initial user requirements were obtained and the related plans were made (WP2). The development of the three service components Earth observation (EO), in situ instruments and modelling, was started (WP3), together with the validation (WP5). The EOMORES style, website and communication material were designed.
In the second year, the service components (WP3) were finalised; integration and indicator development were the focus (WP4). Further developments were discussed with the users (WP2). The validation was continued (WP5) and the set-up of operational services (WP6) was started. The business- and marketing plans were updated to reflect the progress.
In the third year the technical development of the services was completed (WP6). The validation showed good results (WP5). The business plan was updated to reflect the service provisions after the project and the modus of co-operation between the EOMORES partners in the commercial setting (WP7). The commercial website was launched; new users were attracted (WP7). A white paper to advocate the use of EO data for support of the monitoring for the WFD was written together with H2020 CoastObs and the support of several international experts.

Important results, their exploitation and dissemination:
1) In situ datasets for validation and testing from various lakes and coastal areas
Extensive field campaigns were carried out to obtain in situ information for validation. EOMORES data is in principle open to the public. Samples, information and the contact details of the PI are on the EOMORES space at OpenAIRE and in the LIMNADES database.
2) Development of Earth Observation (EO) products by improved processing methods
Methods for processing EO data were adjusted and improved to process Sentinel-3, -2, and -1 data into water quality products. The results are described in D3.3 EO based processors and products. The results were presented at scientific conferences and published in scientific publications.
3) Development of the stand-alone WISPstation in situ instrument
The WISPstation in situ instrument was partly developed and largely tested within EOMORES. The results are described in D3.4 Automated in situ instruments setup, prototype processors and products. The results were presented at scientific conferences and published in scientific publications.
4) Development of ecological models for forecasting (bathing) water quality
The scum forecasting model EWAS and the algae bloom forecasting models BLOOM and AlgaeRadar are further developed and tested within EOMORES. The results are described in D3.5 Improved version of the algal forecasting models. The results were presented at scientific conferences.
5) Portals for service provision
The channels for service provision were (further) developed within EOMORES. Examples of the services that were run during the project are provided in D6.4 Operational service delivery, which also includes the links to the portal systems involved for each service.
6) Operational services based on EO data, automated optical in situ instruments and ecological models.
The components are developed in such as way that they can be flexibly combined based on the users’ needs. Options are for example near-real time monitoring, long-term analysis for ecological purposes and forecasts to provide early warnings. The products and services can be found in the Product and Service Portfolio. It was handed out to the participants of the EOMORES workshop “Innovation in water quality monitoring and forecasting” and we hand it out at exhibitions to potential users.
7) Thorough validation of the products and services.
For users it is important that they can trust products and services they receive. This includes both the accuracy of the delivered products and the quality of the service. The validation results can be found in D5.3 Final validation report. The results were presented at the EOMORES user workshop and will be provided to potential users wh
EOMORES developed user-relevant, sustainable commercial downstream services for operational inland and coastal water quality monitoring, reporting and forecasting. By building downstream services upon the Copernicus program, EOMORES helps to make sure that Europe’s investments in space are exploited to the benefit of citizens. The accuracy, fitness for purpose, quality and utility of the services were assessed by the members of the User Board in iterative cycles, and products were improved on this basis. In this way, the services are tailored to users’ needs, which is one of the most important results of EOMORES. The product and service portfolio presents the possibilities to potential users.
The high frequency, spatially covering data and forecasts offered by EOMORES will be a valuable addition to water managers for a better understanding their local water systems and will enable them to take timely actions, providing healthy water bodies to EU citizens. The white paper contributes to further implementation in policy to support the Water Framework Directive.
By setting up a business plan with a pricing schema, an agreement for commercial roll-out between the partners and starting commercial marketing, the EOMORES services are indeed ‘on the market’ at the end of the project. For details: https://eomores.eu.
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