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Water-ForCE: Water scenarios For Copernicus Exploitation

Lake with mountain in background and stormy skies. Courtesy Jordan Lomibao on Unsplash

Completed project

Project start: January 2021  |  Project end: December 2023
Funder: EC Horizon 2020
Principal Investigator: Stefan Simis
Other participants from PML: Dr Stefano Ciavatta, Peter Walker

Water-ForCE is co-creating a Roadmap for the development of the next phase of Copernicus Inland Water Services with the space sector, research community, policy, industry and third sector. This will guide the user community and enhance the uptake of satellite-derived water quality and quantity products.

Unprecedented availability of free-to-access satellite data from the Copernicus programme has started to transform approaches for 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. R&D capabilities have rapidly advanced through H2020 and ESA projects working on inland water challenges, but this has resulted in fragmented efforts.

Water-ForCE will create a Roadmap that will help to provide cohesion across the services that will be benchmarked against community requirements. It will recommend 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.