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UNESCO World Water Quality Portal

Water quality from Space through satellite Earth Observation

The UNESCO World Water Quality Portal showcases and demonstrates the potential of remote sensing and satellite Earth Observation to improve water quality monitoring towards sustainable water resources management. It also promotes research and strengthen the scientific base on innovative approaches to water quality monitoring.

Improving water quality worldwide is essential to sustainable water resources management, human health, ecosystems’ integrity and sustainable development. However, water quality data are scarce, especially in remote areas and developing countries where water quality monitoring networks and capacity are lacking.

The Portal’s applications in world’s basins, therefore, aim to support basin organizations and national water and environment agencies for improved water quality monitoring towards sustainable water resources management. Its objective is to support basin organizations to better understand the water quality and ecological state of water resources, monitor the trend and evolution of water quality and pollution, and assess anthropogenic and climate change impacts on water resources. It consequently contributes to science-based policy- and decision-making to protect and improve the quality of the world’s water resources. Facilitating the open sharing of scientific innovation and water quality data, the Portal also promotes open science.

The portal was conceptualized and developed in the framework of the International Initiative on Water Quality (IIWQ) of the Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (IHP) of UNESCO. Operational applications of the Portal have been developed for Lake Chad water quality monitoring, in cooperation with the Lake Chad Basin Commission and the UNESCO Project “Biosphere and Heritage of Lake Chad” (BIOPALT), and La Plata Basin water quality monitoring, in collaboration with the Intergovernmental Coordinating Committee (CIC) of the La Plata Basin Countries.

Image credit: CNES, UNESCO World Water Quality Portal