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GEO 2017-2019 Work Program

 

Geo Global Water Sustainbility (GEOGLOWS)

Activity ID: 118

Overview

This Initiative consolidates the positive elements of the water activities in the first phase of GEO and ensures that strong coordination and commitment is in place for links between data, information, knowledge, and applications and policy.  There are many contributions being made to these goals by various GEO Member countries but these contributions are unlikely to be included in planning or in synthesis or to be linked with policy at the global scale unless they are part of a larger framework for coordinating water within and beyond GEO. Thus, when mature, GEOGLOWS could provide a coordination framework for all water initiatives under the GEO programme.

This Initiative is intended to facilitate the use of Earth observation assets to contribute to mitigating water shortages, excesses and degraded quality arising from population growth, climate change and industrial development.  The Initiative is relevant to GEO Strategic Objectives and follows the model of GEO projects. It will achieve its objectives by facilitating collaborations, enabling projects, and encouraging conversations that will strengthen these programmes, increasing awareness of related activities, and promoting the leverage of existing or planned activities.

The Initiative will develop knowledge based on an analysis of Essential Water Variables (EWVs) and use the knowledge to inform applications related to minimizing Basin and Regional Risk, policies related to enhancing global water sustainability and capacity building through regional programs and alliances such as AmeriGEOSS.  To achieve this objective it strives to enhance observational programs, innovate on ways to make more effective use of data, adhere to GEO principles of good data management, and implement the policy of free and open data exchange.

Activities for the period

This Initiative will involve the collection, processing, and analysis of data to produce a better understanding of water processes, improved predictions, and insights into strategies for more effective water management; models and tools that will be applied in the provision of monitoring and prediction services for water management; and general evidence and support for policy development. The scope of this work will initially cover the responsibility areas of the member nations involved and will provide the global overviews needed to make the connections between data and policy.  The scientific approaches are supported by the enhancement of data collection and processing, the improvement of data services, and the expansion of capabilities to use the data by all segments of society and in all parts of the world. 

The GEOGLOWS framework includes activities focusing on:

  1. Enhancing Global Water Sustainability (Sustainable Development Goals; water scarcity and access; climate change; cold regions; user engagement);
  2. Minimizing Basin and Regional Risk (integrated water prediction including floods and droughts; transboundary issues and Integrated Water Resources Management; Water-Energy-Food-Environment-Health Nexus; Climate Change Adaptation);
  3. Essential Water Variable (EWV) Understanding (water quality and use; water cycle Variables);
  4. Earth Observations, Integrated Data Products and Applications, and Tool Development;
  5. Data Sharing, Dissemination of Data, Information, Products, and Knowledge;
  6. User Engagement, Capacity Building, and AmeriGEOSS.

User engagement

End users will be engaged in the definition of needs for data, products and services.  Emerging applications such as water quality applications and extreme event monitoring should lead to new services.  Once user requirements are further clarified, an evaluation of global data centers’ current holdings should be carried out to determine where new initiatives and services are required.   They will assist in the conduct of gap analysis to clarify the adequacy of existing products and services and the need for new services.

AmeriGEOSS functions as a User Engagement element through the surveys it undertakes at its meetings and training sessions to address this need. Other user engagement will be achieved through continuous active participation in the Integrated Global Water Cycle Observations (IGWCO) Community of Practice (CoP) where emphasis will be placed on engagements with users around the world.  In addition GEOGLOWS will organize side events at the GEO Work Planning Symposium and Plenary meetings to inform experts in other SBAs of their activities and to stimulate cross-SBA activities. GEOLGLOWS members will be encouraged to organize scientific sessions and town halls at international science meetings to expand their activities.  

Future plans

In addition to suggesting a strategy for coordination, this Initiative will also provide a set of recommendations for implementation including preliminary proposals for new activities.  Part of this will involve expanding the geographical scope of GEOGLOWS by bringing more GEO Members into the Initiative.

Resources

  • The investment in this Initiative currently comes from NASA, NOAA, USGS and USAID on behalf of the US Government and JRC (Europe) and Columbia for the international funding. Columbia and JRC provide $10K per year for their projects.  The support from NOAA, NASA and USGS is all in-kind support at present;
  • Together with contributions by NASA for funded projects and new initiatives funded through research calls and water-related projects and training funded by Latin American contributions, NASA’s investment is roughly estimated to be $750K with another $35K spent on coordination;
  • NOAA in-kind contributions amount to approximately $400K per year.  These include GEONETCAST services, AmeriGEOSS projects in Latin America, and NOAA GEOGLOWS and AmeriGEOSS coordination.    In addition, NOAA supports GEOGLOWS efforts related to Integrated Water Prediction at levels which are currently difficult to determine. NOAA and the GEO Secretariat contribute with technical support for CIEHLYC’s monthly webinars. Data products supplied through the GEONETCast are in-kind contributions from the contributing countries.  USGS activities have been carried out by staff involved in delivering on their normal responsibilities so it is hard to assign additional investments associated with USGS GEOGLOWS contributions.

Leadership

Contributors

Members: Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, EC, Germany, Mexico, the Netherlands, USA.

Participating Organizations: CODATA, WMO.

Others: Barbados, El Salvador, International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS).

Linkages across the Work Programme

Initiatives: AmeriGEOSS; Earth Observations in Service of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Leadership & Contributors (this list is being populated)

Role

Name

Member/PO

Implementing Entity

Email

Lead

Nathaniel Booth

United States

USGS

nlbooth@usgs.gov

Lead

Bradley Doorn

United States

NASA

bradley.doorn@nasa.gov

Lead

Angelica Gutierrez-Magness

United States

NOAA

angelica.gutierrez@noaa.gov

Contributor

Hans-Peter Plag

IEEE

IEEE

hpplag@mari-odu.org

 

Contact

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phone: +41 22 730 8505

fax: +41 22 730 8520

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GEO Secretariat
7 bis, avenue de la Paix
Case postale 2300
CH-1211 Geneva 2
Switzerland

e-mail: secretariat@geosec.org
phone: +41 22 730 8505
fax: +41 22 730 8520