Water Over-abstraction and Illegal Abstraction Detection and Assessment (WODA)

2015 - 2016


Project description and aims

Over-abstraction occurs not only for irrigation use but even for industrial and civil uses and can
cause in some cases dramatic effects on soil subsidence. Typical cases of illegal water abstraction occur when wells are operating without permit, or when water is pumped form rivers or channels without permit.

Earth Observation (EO), especially satellite remote sensing, can provide well established methods for the monitoring of water abstraction. The detection of illegal water abstraction is a further step forward and is feasible only if permits are organized in a proper GIS. At first instance, EO methods for the monitoring of water abstraction could be summarized as follows:

  1. Methods for the monitoring of crop evapotranspiration.
  2. Methods for the monitoring of soil subsidence.

The aim of the work is to improve the capability of IMPEL members to monitor water over-abstraction, both legal and illegal, through cost-effective EO and GIS methods. This can increase the IMPEL Members’ efficiency in the use of inspective resource on field for tackling illegal abstraction of water; the increase of capabilities in interpreting water use for agriculture, civil and industrial use can be useful to foster Member States in implementation of WFD and achievement of the targets set in Roadmap for a resource efficient Europe.

Through the development of this project, IMPEL members will acquire a better knowledge about EO methods and the opportunities provided by the Copernicus programme, also in fields other than water use in agriculture, as in land management, illegal landfills tackling, etc. (to be developed with further projects). The outcomes of this project would be very useful in the context of the evolution of the Copernicus Land monitoring service. The potential interest of Copernicus for environmental inspection is already mentioned in the Copernicus Work Programme so the needs might be further accommodated if appropriate.


Number: 2015/11 - 2016/14 – Status: Completed – Period: 2015 - 2016 – Topic: Water and land - Tags:

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