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World Bank: Earth Observation for Water Resources Management – New report

A Practical Guide for the use of Earth Observation DataA Practical Guide for the use of Earth Observation Data

Water contributes to all aspects of economic and social development. Especially in developing countries, water supply, sanitation, and a healthy environment form the basis of successful poverty reduction and shared-growth strategies. The use of remote sensing (RS) for operational purposes in hydrology and water resources, while not new, is a fast-growing field.

Earth Observation for Water Resources Management aims to shed light on the strengths and limitations of remote sensing in order to help specialists to provide decision makers with fast and reliable information.

This report:

  • describes some of the key global water related challenges and how the World Bank has been making use of remote sensing for water resource-related activities
  • includes a wealth of detailed technical information on existing sensor systems and data products (with examples)
  • provides practical guidelines and information about whether remote sensing may be useful for a given problem, and if so, which data sources would be most suitable and
  • offers an extensive literature review of studies evaluating the reliability of remote sensing.

This report also provides a guide to Water Resource Management professionals considering the use of Earth observation. Essential questions are provided that must be answered to help to navigate and evaluate the abundance of earth observation-based options and data products, including the likely validity of water resource variables estimated though Earth observation. The focus is on appropriate questions to ask once it has been concluded that exploring earth observation options for the Water Resource Management problem at hand is worthwhile.

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