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Annual Review of the Water sector 2022

The following article, compiled with input from Showcase 5 Pilot 1 and Showcase 5 Pilot 6 teams, is the fifth in a series of articles investing the developments and challenges in the e-shape sectors this year. 


Sector highlights in 2022: 

Ilias Pechlivanidis states that one of the year’s highlights is the launch of the DestinationEarth (DestinE) programme. DestinE aims to develop – on a global scale – a highly accurate digital model of the Earth to monitor and predict the interaction between natural phenomena and human activities. As part of the European Commission’s Green Deal and Digital Strategy, DestinE will contribute to achieving the objectives of the twin transition: green and digital. Another sector highlight in 2022 is the uptake of AI methods to provide enhanced EO for water resources management. The team of Showcase 5 Pilot 6 recalls that in the Netherlands, there is more recognition of satellite data for water quality purposes. In the rest of Europe, due to a very dry summer affecting the water quality, in the long run, there is an increasing demand for satellite-based water monitoring solutions. 


Which are the biggest challenges in the sector? 

One of the main challenges noted by the Showcase 5 Pilot 6 team is the continuous change of sector regulations that create roadblocks in scaling new technologies. Ilias Pechlivanidis from Showcase 5 Pilot 1 mentioned the lack of computational resources and data archiving. 

What should be done in the next five years to respond to the sectorial challenges?  

There is a need to promote EO-based solutions versus traditional approaches for quantifying the added value to making a step forward in tackling the sector challenges. “EO companies should focus on applied research applications and development”, comments Ilias Pechlivanidis; hence a tighter link with data providers and researchers needs to be put in place. Furthermore, “the sector needs continuous support from policymakers to facilitate regulations that support the delivery of high-quality imagery”, concludes the team of Showcase 5 Pilot 6.