Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


eoFRESH Report Summary

Project ID: 718835

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - eoFRESH (Earth Observation freshwater monitoring services)

Reporting period: 2016-03-01 to 2016-08-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Access to local, country-wide or global status information and trends of water quality in inland surface waters is essential for high-level water-resource-management of governmental bodies, but also for many concrete and actual water related issues such as sedimentation in dams or cyanobacteria blooms in bathing lakes. Information on e.g. sediments in the water column, algae and eutrophication can support efficient planning on localized comprehensive measurements, environmental impact or directive monitoring, and serve as proxy for Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) defined by the UN. In principle, relevant water quality information parameters can be derived extremely cost-efficient and with a minimum logistical effort for millions of water bodies, using measurements from satellite based earth observation (EO) sensors. For a broader user acceptance, general demands such as the provision of reliable consistent and independent information, and an easy, used adapted information access is required, beyond further user specific adaptations. State-of-the-art processing technologies in conjunction with a very user friendly ccess through web applications support this demand efficiently within the eoFRESH business concept:

eoFRESH addresses the information demand of water industries (dam, aquaculture and water treatment operators) and development banks. It supports state and regional water agencies with their monitoring obligations. Also, water tourism might later be addressed through online algae bloom alerts for bathing tourism and turbidity for divers, accessible within common platforms such as the weather portals.

eoFRESH provides a number of relevant water quality measures and satellite based monitoring services to the addressed client groups. The common demand of those client groups are reliable, independent and consistent water quality information products of water bodies of all scales (lakes, reservoirs, rivers, ..) globally. Both, actual and also historic information back for decades in time for environmental baseline analysisxc are increasingly required, as water evolved to the most relevant global resource of the 21th century. eoFRESH intends to fulfil this demand with cost-effective high-quality products and services, with global harmonized products as backbone, and mechanisms for an easy adaptation to dedicated user demands on all spatial and temporal scales globally.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The demand of the most relevant target groups, water industries and water agencies was investigated, jointly with a broader market and risk analysis. A dedicated technical feasibility analysis was undertaken, in order to forecast expected costs and time schedules, with the objective to develop efficient mechanisms to upscale the service into a global market.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The business plan indicates, that the concept has significant realization chances on a rapid demand driven and sustainable growth into a global market. The financial risks seem to be manageable, as the production costs evolve with market growth. The highest risks are on remaining uncertainties for the automation level depending on some technical aspects, the marketing and capacity building costs to grow the market acceptance, and the related uncertainties in timeline management of the real market development speed. Beyond that, market distortion and undermining through tax payer funded 'free' and usually low-quality services organized by public institutions e.g. by Copernicus remains a risk, unless the Commission defines as proposed recently clear border lines between the public services and the demand and quality driven commercial services.

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