A new global water quality portal using earth observation and satellite data to support the International Initiative on Water Quality (IIWQ) of UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme (IHP) was launched in January 2018. The IIWQ World Water Quality Information and Capacity Building Portal will assist with global water quality assessment and capacity building for streams, lakes and rivers.
The degradation of water quality threatens human health, limits food production, reduces ecosystem functions and hinders economic growth. Newly emerging pollutants and changing climate patterns bring about a new water quality challenge with still unknown long-term impacts on human health and ecosystems. Monitoring water quality is essential to determine the health of freshwater systems as well as identify signs of degradation over weeks, months and years.
The IIWQ Portal is a cost-saving solution to water quality monitoring providing users with near real-time data, campaign planning support, and access to remote and inaccessible areas. As a web-based service, users can quickly obtain measurements at freely selectable virtual stations for any location worldwide.
A comprehensive range of satellite-based water quality parameters such as turbidity, chlorophyll and indicators for toxic Cyanobacteria blooms can be mapped globally with weekly or even daily sampling frequencies under cloud-free conditions.
The IIWQ Portal also includes functionalities to select different time periods dating back over the last three decades. Historic measurements are provided for selected regions of each continent throughout 2016, and can be continued with various spatial and temporal resolutions for every country.
Environmental managers, politicians and scientists can ingest the service directly through the UNESCO web mapping service into their geospatial information systems for analysis and assessment.