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:
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.
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.
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)