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H2020

EOMORES Report Summary

Project ID: 730066

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - EOMORES (Earth Observation based services for Monitoring and Reporting of Ecological Status)

Reporting period: 2016-12-01 to 2017-11-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

EOMORES will develop operational monitoring and reporting services for inland and coastal water quality based on a combination of the most up-to-date satellite data, innovative in situ instruments and ecological models.

Lakes, reservoirs and coastal water bodies constitute essential components of the hydrological and biogeochemical water cycles, and influence many aspects of ecology, economy, and human welfare, providing ecosystem services in multiple and sometimes conflicting ways. Knowledge about the state of inland and coastal water bodies is therefore of great interest.

EOMORES will develop information services to support international, national and regional authorities responsible for monitoring, management and reporting of water quality as well as private entities dealing with water quality such as dredging companies. These services will be based on Earth observation (Sentinel 1, 2 and 3), autonomous optical in situ sensors, and ecological models. The validated data from these components will be flexibly combined into higher-level products to fit the users’ information requirements such as aggregated lake-wide indicators of the ecological status for Water Framework Directive reporting or early warning of cyanobacterial scums based on a combination of in situ measurements and model forecasts.

Three service concepts are envisaged:
1) Operational water quality monitoring and forecasting for water management,
2) Implementation of validated EO-based water quality indicators for WFD and other reporting and
3) Historic compilation of data for specific ecological analysis.

The services are expected to result in lower operational costs, more reliable and more timely water quality datasets for water managers.

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

EOMORES officially started in December 2016, but for practical reasons the kick off meeting took place in January 2017, hosted by WI, in Wageningen, the Netherlands. All partners, most of the users and REA were present. The project organisation was internally agreed, so that most administrational work has been going smooth so far (WP1).
Because the users were involved from the beginning, we had a good relation with the users for collecting the user requirements (WP2). We noticed large differences between the users with regard to their earlier experience with EO data, optical in situ data, and ecological models, with regard to their organisation and current monitoring activities. Therefore, their requirements greatly varied between very specific to solve specific issues, and quite generic to get an idea of how our products look like. Based on the requirements, the validation plan was set up, and Service Level Definition documents were signed with the users.
In June, we had a project meeting hosted by USTIR, in Stirling, UK. Here, the details of the component developments and the field work for validation were discussed. Also, the last items of the technical implementation and data management plan were agreed upon.
Summer is the period when most phytoplankton and cyanobacterial blooms occur, that are of interest to monitoring, and the least cloudy periods can be expected, which is important to obtain match ups with satellites. Therefore, in the summer period, many partners carried out fieldwork for validation purposes (WP5).
After summer, the development of the three components (EO, in situ, and ecological modelling) was the main focus of the consortium (WP3). Also, PML initiated a large experiment to validate atmospheric correction schemas, based on a large dataset of match ups of most of the EOMORES partners that carry out fieldwork.
During the whole period, outreach activities took place (WP7). The project website was set up (http://EOMORES-H2020.eu), and a leaflet created. Several partners participated in conferences and/or workshops, and even the first scientific publication that was partly written within EOMORES was published.

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 overall aim of EOMORES is to develop a commercial downstream service platform for monitoring and reporting of ecological water quality based on Earth observation, in situ and modelling components. The individual products and service components will be based mainly on knowledge and methods already in place at the partner organisations, with some research into new experimental products to complement the service portfolio. The improvements within the three components (EO, in situ and modelling) are carried out in WP3.
The particular focus of the project is on integration of the so far fragmented tools and methods and pre-operational service demonstrations into a common framework to yield higher-level products based on one or more of the components that is more palatable for end-user engagement. These higher-level products aim at closing the gap between the EO products currently available and the information needs of the users. The high temporal resolution of the information derived from a continuously measuring stationary optical sensor can for example be combined with the synoptic view obtained from satellites and the predictive power of ecological modelling to yield the best possible early warning of cyanobacterial blooms in bathing waters. The service components will be implemented in a way to insure full interoperability so that they can be flexibly combined into services to fulfil the different users' needs. Together with the users, the most useful combinations of the service components, indicators and other higher-level products (spatio-temporal aggregation, warning levels) and service type (near real time or archive processing) will be defined and subsequently be implemented by the project partners. The development of higher-level products and the integration of products from the three components is the focus of WP4.
Another major activity of the project is the validation of its products and services. The accuracy of the basic products (measurements and forecasts of different water quality parameters) will be assessed using statistical methods based on reference measurements. For the higher-level products, a fitness for purpose analysis will be performed (for example by comparing the classification of a water body according to WFD requirements based on Earth observation data with the classification of the same water body based on laboratory analysis). Moreover, the quality and the utility of the services will be assessed by the members of the User Board. All validation is done within WP5.

At the moment, all technical work is in progress and well on its way. In the next year, operationalisation of the services, business plan development and marketing will start.
The expectation is that at the end of the project, there will be sustainable EOMORES services, with several 'launching customers'.

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