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HELMHOLTZ – Real-time water monitoring from space (WaMoS)

EARTO Innovation Awards 2020 – Impact Expected Category


Given the increasing global demand for fresh drinking water, the real time forecast of emerging flood, irrigation, and droughts observation systems remain a challenge. Private companies and public organisations keep a track based on hydro meteorological models, which cannot measure changes in groundwater storage. As a result, the management of critical water resources is uncertain offering lower accuracy.

Innovation: The Helmholtz Centre Potsdam, German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ), EARTO Member through Helmholtz Association developed the WaMoS process, a highly complementary set of water-related information which provides the customer with daily quantitative data based on gravity satellite missions’ observations, in the form of an automated software with reports and dashboards. WaMoS offers special consulting services to improve the accuracy of existing water balance models and increases spatial resolution of measurements.

Impact Expected: This innovation offers an independent water resources’ sustainability audit and makes sophisticated data available for public users. It enables a more accurate risk mitigation process, a sustainable use of water for agriculture and optimises the pricing strategy for hydropower. A steady revenue stream of €150K is expected per year and substantial investments into product design programming are foreseen to be significantly increased within 1-2 years.

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Helmholtz Association is Germany’s largest scientific organization. It represents 40,000 employees working in 19 research centres across Germany.