World Water Week held in Stockholm to address water crisis
From August 26th through the 31st, Stockholm is hosting World Water Week, an annual event organized by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI). The event is taking place as Europe recovers from a brutally dry summer season.
World Water Week provides a forum for thousands of leaders and experts from businesses and governments across the globe to learn more about how we can address the world’s water crisis.
Over 40 percent of the world’s population is affected by water scarcity. According to the United Nations, one in four people will live in a country that is suffering from freshwater shortages by the middle of the century in 2050.
The European Space Agency (ESA) recognizes the urgency of the water-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that have been set forward by the United Nations. As a participant in the World Water Week conference, the ESA will describe the Big Data and Earth observation for monitoring SDG 6, which is the sustainable goal of clean water and sanitation.
“World Water Week is the ideal occasion to share information about an increasingly scarce resource while we continue working with our satellite data users to develop sustainable water-use practices through innovative projects,” said ESA scientist Benjamin Koetz.
Satellites are critical for monitoring water bodies from space. Optical and radar instruments are used to identify changes in water distribution, while spectrometers measure water quality by applying algorithms to the color of water.
The ESA’s Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission is capable of mapping soil moisture for early warning signs of drought. GlobWetland has also been introduced by the ESA, utilizing the Global Wetlands Observing System and satellite-based information to measure the ecological state of wetlands in Africa.
In addition, the ESA’s TIGER and Earth Observation for Sustainable Development (EO4SD) initiatives will inform national water authorities on how to use satellite data to manage water supplies.
“The wide range of ESA projects targeting the SDGs highlights the great potential of space technology to help resolve a variety of water issues in different sectors,” said Koetz. “ESA’s commitment in this area supports the broader effort to address the water crisis on multiple fronts, partnering with international stakeholders such as UN Environment, UNESCO and the World Bank.”
Individuals and organizations can learn more about engaging in World Water Week here: https://programme.worldwaterweek.org/Engage.
Image Credit: ESA