Skip to content

EARS signs to implement its water monitoring technology in the Yangtze basin

Besides being an abundant source of agro- and hydrometeorological data, the EWBMS system of the Dutch remote sensing company EARS is used for drought and desertication monitoring, crop yield forecasting, water resources assessment and river flow forecasting. EARS is providing services and systems in these fields. After implementation in the Yellow River basin, the company has just signed a cooperation agreement to implement the system for flow forecasting and water allocation in the Yangtze.

Specializing since 1977 in hydro- and agrometeorological monitoring, EARS has developed its own value added remote sensing technology and corresponding niche in the market. Its Energy and Water Balance Monitoring System (EWBMS) uses geostationary meteorological satellite data to operationally produce quantitative data fields of surface and air temperature, surface albedo, global and net radiation, actual and potential evapotranspiration as well as rainfall. Visible and thermal infrared data received hourly from geostationary satellites like Meteosat, MSG and FengYun2c are used as input. The products, generated at national to continental scales, have one pixel spatial resolution and daily to yearly temporal resolution. The system is the first operational source of actual evapotranspiration data in the world. Such data were not available before, but are of key importance in hydrology and agriculture.
With the EWBMS data two significant market oriented applications have been developed. The first one is in the field of crop yield forecasting, known as FAST (Food Assessment by Satellite Technology). FAST is capable of providing crop yield forecasts at pixel, provincial and national level halfway the growing season. In the framework of the GMES project Global Monitoring for Food Security (GMFS) many national and regional crop yield forecasting bulletins have been provided to FAO and WFP in support of their crop and food assessment missions. For the FAO Global Information and Early Warning System it is their earliest source of quantitative crop yield data.
The second application of the EWBMS is in water resources monitoring and river flow forecasting. The precipitation and evapotranspiration data are used to feed a distributed hydrological model, thus providing an early simulation of down stream flow volumes. This hydrological monitoring system is currently being implemented in the Yellow river basin. As the Yellow river originates on the Tibetan plateau, where during half a year temperatures are below zero, the EWBMS system has been extended to deal also with snow storage during winter and snow melting in spring. Recently EARS, in combination with its partners, has reached agreement with the
Changjiang Water Resources Commission to implement the system also in the Chang (Yangtze) basin, the third largest river of the world, which covers 30% of China’s land surface. Here the system will particularly be useful for monitoring the effects of huge water works such as the 3 Gorges dam and the sourth to north water diversion.
The EWBMS is an abundant source of quantitative hydro- and agro-meteorological data. The data are spatially continuous, synoptic, uniform and objective and most of all they are very cost-effective. The system is very suitable for implementation in developing countries where measuring stations are usually scarce. But also in Europe and other developed regions the EWBMS may be of use, as real time data availability is known to be the main limiting factor in hydrological modeling.
EWBMS map of relatice (actual/potential) evapotranspiration during 2000
For more information please contact:
(Credits EARS)