After more than 3.5 years of activity the final review meeting of the EO4SD on water resources management was held at ESRIN in Frascati on the 28th and 29th of January 2020. Over the course of the project, the EO4SD Water team has successfully collaborated with three different finance institutions (World Bank, Asian Development Bank and Inter-American Development Bank) on nine international development projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Altogether, 28 Earth Observation (EO) service demonstrations have been implemented in direct response to existing and emerging water resource challenges. A key focus was on demonstrating how the latest generation of freely accessible satellites, such as the Copernicus Sentinel fleet, can help countries better measure and manage their water resources and as support for the monitoring requirements of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Crosscutting topics included the use of EO for monitoring extent, volume and quality of surface water, EO in support of natural risk management and EO for mapping extent of crops and agricultural water use. Along with the implementation of the EO service demonstrations, we also delivered 11 capacity development workshops with the participation of around 200 participants from more than 20 countries. Moreover, and in close collaboration with local partners, we arranged four national awareness events (in Myanmar, Senegal, Peru and Zambia) attracting another 100 plus participants. Our presence at international water events, such as World Water Week, Land and Poverty conference and the Asian Water Forum, has also been part of the journey and our engagement included the promotion of EO within additional institutions and programs, including UNEP, GEF, AMCOW, ECOWAS, GIZ and PPCR. Finally, we are pleased to have been part of the efforts that now have resulted in a new ESA program – the Global Development Aid (GDA) – and we look forward to following, contributing and eventual participating in future Earth Observation activities for Sustainable Development.
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