The Challenge

Water quality is essential for human, ecosystem, and economic health. Degradation of water quality can result in human exposure to disease and harmful chemicals, reduction in productivity and diversity of ecosystems and damage to aquaculture, agriculture and other water-related industries.

The Solution

AquaWatch is an Initiative within GEO that aims to develop and build the global capacity and utility of Earth Observation-derived water quality data, products and information to support water resources management and decision-making. The mission of the AquaWatch Initiative is to improve the coordination, delivery and utilization of water quality information for the benefit of society.

Latest Developments

2023 GEO AquaWatch Biennial Workshop

Water Quality Information for the Benefit of Society - Earth Observation of inland and coastal water quality: Toward water quality forecasting, 13 November 2023


Policy Drivers

Globally, water quality is an essential driver of many health, climate, ecosystem and aquatic monitoring mandates and initiatives. Specifically, SDG 6.6.1, 6.3.2, and 14.1.1 among others.

How We Work

As a GEO Initiative, AquaWatch supports the need for global water quality data, products and information. With a NOAA-funded home secretariat and part-time scientific coordinator based in the USA, and a part-time Director funded by Deltares and based in the Netherlands, we also benefit from thematic nodes hosted by Deltares (Data Science) and IGB-Berlin (Calibration-Validation) and are working on establishing a UK-secretariat office at University of Stirling (Scotland). GEO AquaWatch support will be implemented by two working groups (User-Oriented and Technical) and several focus groups and our newly established Early Career Society. Ongoing activities are managed monthly by our globally distributed 12-person Management Team, and strategic guidance is offered quarterly by our Steering Committee.

GEO AquaWatch is the premier international, science-based organization dedicated to global satellite-based water quality observations for the benefit of society. We work in freshwater to marine aquatic areas, combining satellite data and water sampling to inform policy and management decisions. Our membership is open and includes professionals in research, observations and monitoring, and policy. Our strengths include a global network of subject matter experts as well as an emphasis on free, open source data and tools. We are proud of our new Early Career Society and our commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity. We are looking forward to growing our membership.


For more information about the AquaWatch explore the website

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