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EO for Water Cycle Science 2020


The Conference is co-organized by ESA, GEWEX, EC (DG-RTD), UNESCO, CNES, CNRS/IPSL and the University of Versailles-Saint-Quentin


NOTE: Review Process ongoing – Authors will be notified ASAP.





In the coming decades increasing population will drastically rise the demand for freshwater. Today, more than 600 million people lack access to safe drinking water and estimates show that with current practices, the world will face a 40% shortfall between forecast demand and available supply of water by 2030. Needs to increase agricultural production will significantly impact water withdrawals and will increase stress on people living in regions already suffering from water scarcity. The shortfall will be further exacerbated by the expected environmental changes associated to global warming and hydro-climatic extremes impacting people and ecosystems especially in most vulnerable regions.

Recent advances in Earth observation (EO) by satellites have improved global observations of several key variables of the global water cycle. This capacity will significantly expand in the coming years with the advent of novel mission and sensors (e.g., new Sentinel missions, novel Earth Explorers, new generation of meteorological satellites, new National and international missions, commercial and new-space satellites and constellations) offering a unique and unprecedented opportunity to advance our knowledge of the Earth system, its dynamics and interactions with human activities.

This Conference aims at reviewing the latest advances in the use of EO technology for scientific questions related to the water cycle and its applications, exploring the potential offered by the coming EO as well as the main challenges and opportunities for the coming decade.

The ultimate target of the event is to contribute to define a scientific agenda that may drive future scientific activities of ESA and other space agencies and partners in the coming few years. The Conference is open to EO scientists, water researchers and students, modellers, Earth system and climate scientists, industry, operational agencies, policy makers, representatives of local communities and other stakeholders interested in sharing their knowledge and experience and in contributing to drive the scientific agenda for advancing EO water research and applications.


  • Reviewing the latest advances and results in the use of EO technology to monitor and characterise the different components of the water cycle.
  • Reviewing the progress and latest results in water cycle research with major focus on EO- advances in the domain of water and energy cycle, water cycle in climate, hydrology, hydro-climatic extremes and water resources and climate adaptation, water-energy-food nexus.
  • Exploring the latest advances in novel EO technologies, mission concepts, new mission ideas and future EO missions under preparation by space agencies and industry
  • Identifying the major scientific challenges, observation gaps and research needs for the coming years
  • Identifying the coming opportunities offered by the increasing international EO capacity from space in synergy with in-situ observations, citizen science, advance modelling, new technologies and interdisciplinary research
  • Exploring effective mechanisms to promote networking and collaborative research in global water sciences, bringing together different expertise, data and resources in a synergistic manner ensuring that the final result may be bigger than the sum of the parts
  • Advancing towards the definition of major scientific priorities in water cycle research that may drive scientific activities of ESA and other partners in the coming years


  • Major challenges in the next decade
  • Future EO missions and coming observing capabilities of the water and energy cycle
  • Advances in EO geophysical retrievals, algorithms and products over land, ocean and atmosphere, fluxes and transports
  • Advances in water cycle sciences, process understanding and water climate research
  • Hydro-climate extremes characterisation and prediction
  • Water management: the user perspective
  • Major advances, challenges and opportunities in EO for hydrology
  • Water-energy-food nexus and water for the food baskets of the world
  • Regional water cycle and hydro-climatic regional initiatives
  • Water resources and climate adaptation and mitigation
  • Water research and novel technologies. (e.g., AI, data intensive science, citizen science, big data,…)
  • Operational / forecasting and data assimilation
  • Capacity building
  • SMOS 10years+ in orbit

Schedule and Deadlines

Abstract submission closureClosed – Review Process ongoing
Notification of acceptance30 October 2020
Issue of Preliminary Programme 30 October 2020
Issue of Final Programme at the virtual Conference

Dates of the Virtual Event

The Earth Observation for Water Cycle Science 2020 Conference will be held On Line on 16-18 November 2020.
Additional information on the virtual event will be provided in the coming weeks.
Stay tuned!

Submit your contribution

Please submit an abstract and/or a proposal for discussion session within 02 October 2020.
See guidelines below.

Call for Abstracts

Abstracts shall be selected on the basis of the one-page abstracts (min 350 words to max 2000 words).
Abstracts should contain the following information:
Title of paper
Authors full name and affiliations
Name, address, e-mail, telephone of the main author
Proposed topic for the paper
Presentation preference (oral or poster)

Submit your abstract

We kindly invite you to submit your abstract/s by using the ConfTool login page available here within 02 October 2020.

Modify your abstract

For changes to your abstract after the submission, please use your personal login and password to access your overview page.

Waiting for approval

Authors shall be notified of the Scientific Committee review process outcome by 30 October 2020. Upon the notification of acceptance, the authors shall be informed of the acceptation type, whether oral or poster presentation.

Call for Discussion Session

The community is invited to propose discussion sessions focused on major science challenges in water research, where EO may provide a major contribution in the coming few years. Discussion sessions should aim at defining major scientific activities, initiatives and experiments that will require an integrated and multi-disciplinary approach to science involving advances in Earth Observation satellite data, in-situ observations, modelling, interdisciplinary research and the use of novel technologies in a coordinated manner.

A proposal for a discussion session should contain:

• High level description of the proposed grand challenge
• Proposed chairs and rapporteurs
• Proposed introductory key notes
• Proposed discussion agenda and time required (1.5 or 3h)
• Suggested discussion participants/target audience

The output of the discussion sessions should be a report in the form of a white paper providing a well-structured description of the problem, the scientific and observations needs and recommendation for the way forward.

Submit your proposal

You are kindly invited to submit your proposal for discussion session by using the ConfTool login page available here within 02 October 2020.

Organizing Committee

Diego Fernandez Prieto


Andral Alice


Panagiotis Balabanis

European Commission

Jérôme Benveniste


Hélène Brogniez


Selma Cherchali


Jean Dusart

European Commission

Roger Haagmans


Anica Huck

European Commission

Veronica Kondo


Sabrina Lodadio


Catherine Michaut

IPSL, France

Anil Mishra


Jan Polcher

CNRS/IPSL Ecole Polytechnique

Michael Rast


Irene Renis

Serco c/o ESA

Graeme Stephens

JPL, Pasadina

Peter van Oevelen


Espen Volden

European Space Agency

Scientific Committee

Michael G. Bosilovich

Global Modeling and Assimilation Office NASA/GSFC

Hélène Chepfer

LMD, Université Sorbonne

Joan Cuxart

Université des Iles Baleares

Patricia de Rosnay

European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts – ECMWF

Michaela Hegglin

Univ of Reading

Yann Kerr


Christopher Kidd

CMNS-Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center

Pierre-Emmanuel Kirstetter

Univ of Oklahoma/School of Meteo

Chris Kummerow

Colorado State University

William P. Kustas


Vincenzo Levizzani


Philippe Maisongrande


Diego Miralles

University of Ghent

Alberto Montanari

University of Bologna

Christa D. Peters-Lidard


Simon Pinnock

European Space Agency

Catherine Prigent

CNRS,Observatoire de Paris

Jorg Schultz


Bob Su

Unversity of Twente

Angelica Tarpanelli


Albert Van Dijk

Australian National University

Wolfgang Wagner


Dai Yamazaki

University of Tokyo – Japan

Herve Yesou


Simon Yueh