Horizon 2020 project Water-ForCE

Defining the water component for the future Copernicus services

Unprecedented availability of free-to-access satellite data from the Copernicus programme has started to transform approaches to the assessment, monitoring and sustainable management of our aquatic environments. However, whilst the Copernicus Land Monitoring Service delivers the first generation of inland water quantity and quality products, other directly related products are fragmented across other services (e.g. EMS, C3S, CMEMS, CAMS, CIS). R&D capabilities have rapidly expanded through H2020 and ESA projects working on inland water challenges, but lack of coordination has led to a fragmented approach to evolving the service components and some confusion in a potentially broad user community. Thus, this expansion has not been matched by uptake of these products by decision makers, monitoring agencies, industry or the wider public.

On January 1st, 2021 the 3-year H2020 CSA project Water-ForCE (Water scenarios For Copernicus Exploitation) had its official start.

Water-ForCE will bring together experts on water quality and quantity in policy, research, engineering and service sectors. This will include operating Copernicus Services (Land, Atmosphere, Marine, Climate Change, Security, Emergency) and Networks (Copernicus Academy and Copernicus Relays), ESA, H2020 projects, and international organisations as well as public and private research organisations. By working with these communities Water-ForCE will deliver a Roadmap for the development of the next phase of Copernicus Inland Water Services. 
The Roadmap will be benchmarked against community requirements, recommending services that should be delivered centrally by Copernicus and innovation opportunities that are better suited for business and research development. The Roadmap will also provide the strategy to ensure effective uptake of water-related services by end users, further support the implementation of relevant directives and policies and evidence policy development. This cross-disciplinary approach will align in situ and remote observation as this is essential to furthering the exploitation of operational observation platforms. A strategy to integrate in situ networks will be defined, integrating approaches to product validation and filling observation gaps and thus strengthen user confidence. Technical requirements for the future Copernicus sensors will also be specified for optimal inland water monitoring needs and future service development.

The Water-ForCE consortium is led by the University of Tartu and consists of 20 organisations from all over Europe:

  1.   Coordinator: University of Tartu, Estonia
  2.   Stichting dotSPACE, Netherlands
  3.   isardSAT, Spain
  4.   Antea Belgium, Belgium
  5.   Plymouth Marine Laboratory, United Kingdom
  6.   Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V. - Leibniz Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei, Germany
  7.   GeoEcoMar, Romania
  8.   Institute of Communication and Computer Systems, Greece
  9.   The University of Stirling, United Kingdom
  10.   IHE Delft Institute for Water Education,  Netherlands
  11.   Estonian University of Life Sciences, Estonia
  12.   National Institute of Research and Development for Biological Sciences, Romania 
  13.   Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium
  14.   3edata, Spain
  15.   National Research Council - Institute for the Electromagnetic Sensing of the Environment, Italy
  16.   VITO (Vlaamse Instelling Voor Technologisch Onderzoek N.V), Belgium
  17.   University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Institute of Hydrobiology and Aquatic Ecosystem Management, Austria
  18.   Centro de Investigacion Ecologica y Aplicaciones Forestales, Spain
  19.   Sinergise, Slovenia
  20.   Water Insight, Netherlands

For news and updates follow the project on www.waterforce.eu and twitter: @H2020WaterForCE