Posted on April, 2017
For the second time, a Water Accounting+ training will be offered by IHE-Delft as summer course. The course will be held in Delft, The Netherlands from 31 July to 4 August. The training is part of the IHE-Delft summer courses that are offered primarily to M.Sc. students but also external participants are welcomed to attend it. The registration is now open and it will end on 30 June. The course will give participants an introduction to the WA+ framework, case studies are used to learn how to interpret accounting sheets results and support decision makers in developing management plans. Participants will get exposed to the (remote sensing) open access data available, will learn how to download, process spatial data, and finally how to convert this data into a coherent information structure on hydrological processes and water management practices. More information can be obtained from Dr. Elga Salvadore (email@example.com) and Prof. Dr. Wim Bastiaanssen (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Posted on March, 2017
The Water Accounting team was present in the 2017 Arab Water Week conference. The theme of the conference was “Managing Water Systems within Fragile Environments”, a major challenge in the Arab region due the stress and the current situation of the available water resources. IHE Delft organized the session on “Managing Water Scarcity in the Middle East: A global Partnership for Water and Development” in which Dr. Gonzalo Espinoza presented the on-going Water Accounting studies for the Litani and the Jordan River Basins.
As part of the post-conference events, Dr. Poolad Karimi and Dr. Gonzalo Espinoza held a training on the “Latest Advances in Technology to Support Managing Water Scarcity in the Middle East”. The training included the general concepts of water accounting, water scarcity, and their link to the state of water resources in the region. The training included more than 25 participants from the countries of Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Palestine, Turkey, and Yemen.
Posted on February, 2017
The first of two training session on Water Accounting+ was conducted on 24-28 January in Bengaluru for 30 water professionals affiliated to the Government of Karnataka. Remarkable was the gender composition to this workshop in which 15 out of 30 participants were women: achieving a perfect gender balance. The Water Accounting team considers the empowerment of women in the water sector as one of the successes of this training.
The training was organized by the Advanced Center for Integrated Water Resources Management (ACIWRM) with the support of the Asian Development Bank. Dr. Elga Salvadore and Prof. Dr. Wim Bastiaanssen have given lessons on various topics related to Water Accounting+, including: WA sheets, open access remote sensing databases, beneficial water consumption, basics of GIS (QGIS) and Python, and the use of the WA+ tools available on GitHub. The next training session will take place in July 2017.
Posted on February, 2017
A one day workshop on Water Accounting and Water Productivity using remote sensing data was held in Bhopal on 20 January and in Bengaluru on 23 January (more information for representatives of local Ministries, NGO’s, and universities of Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka (about 35 participants in Bhopal and 70 in Bengaluru). Prof. Dr. Wim Bastiaanssen, Dr. Elga Salvadore and Dr. Xueliang Cai presented the preliminary results of the ongoing WA+ and future WP activity in the two Indian States and how WA+ can support monitoring of water resources conditions, and the preparation of sustainable development plans. The WA+ and WP activity in Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka is supported by the Asian Development Bank as an effort to provide leaders in the region with quantitative and comprehensive data to tackle the key issue of water security (more information, p.75-77).
Posted on January, 2017
Our students have returned from doing fieldwork for their MSc thesis. Wubengeda Yilma (right picture) is doing a water productivity study for various agricultural areas in the Awash region in Ethiopia. Field measurements and farmer surveys were conducted to achieve yield estimates for the main crops of the region (amongst others sugar cane, maize, onion, and tomato). The yield results are used as validation of remote sensing based calculations of crop water productivity. Limbani Kaluwa (left picture) is conducting a study on the irrigation performance of the Gezira Scheme in Sudan using remote sensing data. He made a field visit to achieve measurements and crop data for different blocks within the scheme. The students will finish writing their thesis by April this year as fulfilment for their UNESCO-IHE MSc degree.
Posted on December, 2016
The final workshop on Water Accounting+ was organized by the Asian Development Bank in Phnom Penh on 2 December. In this venue, Dr. Elga Salvadore and Prof. Dr. Wim Bastiaanssen presented the results of the WA+ activity focusing on the interpretation of the water accounts for the Tonle Sap basin. This workshop gave the opportunity to discuss key topics such as water and land management, the need for long-term plans and how Water Accounting + can support the government of Cambodia in achieving a sustainable growth.
During 2016, three training sessions were provided to a group of 40 technical staff of several ministries (MOWRAM, MAFF, MOE, Tonle Sap Authority) by Dr. Elga Salvadore, Bert Coerver, and Prof. Dr. Wim Bastiaanssen. Participants have learned the basics of Water Accounting, how to access and process remote sensing spatial data using QGIS and Python. The participants have also presented what they have learned and how this knowledge can be of benefit for their respective Ministries during the Final Workshop, and have expressed interest to continue the training in 2017. ADB has positively responded to this request and trainings are expected in Cambodia in April and October 2017.
Posted on October, 2016
For an on-going project with the FAO (Remote sensing for water productivity) we had a methodology workshop on the water productivity database. The approach, algorithms, and other calculations for achieving the various data outputs of the database were discussed. Several of the project team were present including FAO staff, UNESCO-IHE staff, and the FRAME consortium (under the lead of eLEAF). More information on this project can be found on the project website.
Posted on July, 2016
The first Water Accounting summer course reflects the increased need to have independent and open access data to support water resources management. During this week we presented the Water Accounting Plus framework (WA+), which is strongly based on Remote Sensing, to 31 participants coming from 19 different countries. Academic UNESCO-IHE students and external participants from national and international, public and private sectors (ADB, WB, ACIWRM, DGIS and Jain irrigation) joined together to learn more about WA+.
The journey started from understanding the needs from a political and institutional point of view. The UNESCO-IHE rector Dr. Fritz Holzwarth gave an inspiring lecture stating how WA+ could support international water policy negotiations. Our global water accounting professor, Dr. Wim Bastiaanssen, explained all the fundamental concepts behind the WA+ framework, shared his long experience in water studies and in the use of the latest technology for agriculture and water management. The pool of teachers included: Dr. Elga Salvadore (course coordinator, theory and exercises on WA+), Dr. Gonzalo Espinoza (open access databases for WA+ and exercises with spatial data), MSc Tim Hessels (exercises with spatial data), Dr. Jonna van Opstal (Water Productivity theory and exercises), Dr. Cai Xueliang (link between WA+ and SDGs). Many technical aspects were also addressed with practical exercises, among others: how to download essential data from open access databases, GIS and Remote Sensing data analysis and computer programming for WA+ computations. Water productivity was one of the pillars of the past week and we would like to thank Dr. Kleijn from the Dutch Ministry of External Affairs for sharing with the participant the government perspective on this relevant topic. Finally, the WA+ framework represents a step forward in promoting Water Democracy and we are sure this summer course is just the beginning!
Posted on June, 2016
The WA+ team of IHE-Delft will prepare water accounts for two basins in Madhya Pradesh (Kali Sindh and Wainganga), and one basin in Karnataka (Tugabhadra). This activity is part of the Asian Development Bank effort in piloting the Water Accounting+ framework in several Asian countries. At the end of May, Dr. Elga Salvadore visited the Water Resources Department (WRD) of Madhya Pradesh (Mr. Y.C. Sharma, Superintending Engineer at PICU Bhopal) and the Advanced Center for Integrated Water Resources Management (ACIWRM), the think-tank of the WRD of Karnataka (Dr. P.S. Rao, Director Technical, Mr. C. Lyle, Chief Technical Advisor). Two one-week training sessions will be provided to the recipient organization to enable the technical staff of the Ministries to autonomously produce and interpret the accounting sheets
Posted on May, 2016
The Asian Development Bank intends to pilot the Water Accounting+ framework in several basins in Asia. In March, the Water Accounting team of IHE-Delft have initiated the WA+ analysis for the five major basin groups in Cambodia: Tonle Sap, Three S, Upper Mekong, Lower Mekong and Coastal Catchments. An Inception Workshop was held in Phnom Penh on 3 May with the participation of 40 senior officials from several Ministries of Cambodia. During the Workshop, Dr. Elga Salvadore and Prof. Dr. Wim Bastiaanssen introduced the Water Accounting+ framework and showed the potential of Remote Sensing applications for Water Resources Management. A major outcome of the Inception Workshop was a large consent and interest on the WA+ activity in Cambodia. The planned activities include water accounts for selected historical years for the five major basin groups, and was agreed on providing three training sessions of 4 days for technical staff from the Ministries during 2016. For more information (in Khmer language) visit the website of the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology.
The opening speeches were given by H.E. Ty Sokhun, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), H.E. Thor Chetha, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology (MOWRAM), Mr. Samiuela Tukuafu, Country Director ADB Cambodia Resident Mission.
Posted on May, 2016
Dr. Xueliang Cai joined the WA team as a water productivity specialist and a senior lecturer at UNESCO-IHE. He has over 10 years’ international working experience in Asia, Africa, and more recently, the Netherlands. Within the water accounting group his current interests are on crop water productivity analysis for water and food security, with a particular focus on Asia, which includes pilot study and training in six countries. Before joining UNESCO-IHE, Cai worked at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) in South Africa as a researcher and prior to that, in Sri Lanka as a postdoc fellow. He has worked on diverse topics including irrigation, water resources development, climate change, ecosystem services, and flood management. Cai obtained his Ph.D. from Wuhan University in China with a focus on multi-scale and multi modeling approach to irrigation water management.
Posted on April, 2016
Dr. Jonna van Opstal joined the WA team at UNESCO-IHE (Delft) in March. She finished a Ph.D. in Irrigation Engineering at Utah State University with a focus on using remote sensing tools for evaluating irrigation district performance. Within the water accounting team she is involved in the water productivity of agricultural areas using satellite remote sensing for crop classification, biomass and evapotranspiration estimates using SEBAL. This work is conducted for a FAO project, which will characterize the water productivity of several irrigation schemes located in Africa and the Middle East.
Posted on April, 2016
UNESCO-IHE has decided to provide a summer course on water accounting, to be held from 25 to 29 July in Delft, the Netherlands. While this course is preliminary meant for M.Sc. students from UNESCO-IHE, there are also several places available for partner institutes that we are working with. The registration opens on May 23 (more information). Principles, the analytical framework and case studies will be discussed. Participants will get also some exposure to the scripts that download geospatial data from internet and convert the data into a coherent information structure on hydrological processes and water management practices. More information can be obtained from Prof. Dr. Wim Bastiaanssen (email@example.com) and Dr. Elga Salvadore (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Posted on March, 2016
A workshop on the definition of ecosystem services was organized at the IWMI campus in Vientiane on February 29 and March 1st. Ecosystem services are related to water consumption and also to other (non-consumptive) water flows. The workshop was part of the Water-Land-Ecosystems project MK27 that is operated by Delft University of Technology, and in which IWMI and UNESCO-IHE are partners, among others. An updated sheet (#7) has been created, and the challenge is now to develop the data flow that is needed to quantify these services. The updated sheets 7 and 8 can be found on this website.
Posted on March, 2016
Kasetsart University in Bangkok has received a request from the Government of Thailand to prepare the water accounts for all 254 sub-basins in Thailand using the WA methodology. This is a country wide water accounting study, and the first of this kind. A contract was signed with the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) in Laos that will provide technical support to a team of Thai students under supervision of Dr. Nutchanart Sriwongsitanon.
Posted on February, 2016
Gonzalo Espinoza has successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis in Texas under supervision of Prof. David Maidment. The title of his thesis was "Large-Scale Statistical Analysis of NLDAS Variables and Hydrologic Web Applications" The WA team welcomes Gonzalo to his new position on preparing the water accounts for the FAO project, with a focus on the Litani, Jordan, Nile, Awash and Niger basin. He will provide specific attention to the development of the sustainability aspects of river basins.
Posted on January, 2016
Dr. Elga Salvadore and Mr. Bert Coerver have started with the execution of water accounting projects in India and Vietnam respectively. The Asian Development Bank expects that WA can help to standardize the reporting on water resources conditions. Elga did a Ph.D. in urban hydrology at the Free University of Brussels and has an interest in spatial hydrology. Bert graduated from TU Delft and studied reservoir operations in the Red River. Both Elga and Bert will work closely together with local public agencies for explaining the principles and build local capacity in understanding the potential and limitations of water accounts for planning purpose.
Posted on November, 2015
Dr. Pasquale Steduto from the Near East and North Africa (NENA) region of the FAO organized an important conference on "Water Consumption, Water Productivity and Drought Management in Agriculture” in Cairo during 27 to 29 October (2015). The workshop has been attended by more than 100 participants under the auspice of the Egyptian Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, and considered a land mark meeting bringing together countries and partners in developing relevant and concrete work plan and results for the coming years. The workshop has also received a significant media coverage with more than 60 articles across the region, including 15 in top tier sources.
The presentations can be accessed here.
The WaterAccounting.org group advocated the need to cap the volume of water consumed in agriculture, both green and blue water resources. This is a pre-requisite for achieving sustainable and economically profitable agriculture in arid zones. Investments will stay away if the total water picture is absent.
Posted on September, 2015
NASA and the Worldbank organized a joint workshop to evaluate the state-of-art on the mapping of evapotranspiration from remote sensing techniques. This was a unique gathering between the suppliers of the raw data, the scientists and the user community. Prof. Dr. Wim Bastiaanssen provided a lecture on the international experiences, and pleaded for a global ensemble ET product. It is clear that water accounting cannot be accomplished without NASA satellites, although ESA together with China have constructive progress on future earth observation missions. First presentations of on-line ET processing on the Earth Engine were provided (http://eeflux-level1.appspot.com/). It is interesting to note that this EEFlux algorithm (source: Rick Allen and Ayse Kilic) is based on SEBAL, and that many of the original functions on hot and cold pixel selection are unchanged since 1995. All presentations will come on-line soon.
Posted on August, 2015
Wateraccounting.org has co-organized a workshop at the 2015 Stockholm water week dealing with crop water productivity. It was emphasized that although water productivity is formally recognized under SDG goal 6.4, it should under all circumstances be implemented in a sustainable manner. This implies that crop water productivity should be associated with rainfed and irrigation related water consumption, and be balanced with other water users in a river basin context.
Posted on August, 2015
The water accounting team welcomes Tim Hessels (M.Sc), who replaces Gert Mulder (M.Sc) as the major hydrological programmer at UNESCO‑IHE. Tim graduated from Delft University of Technology in Water Resources Management and Remote Sensing on a thesis entitled ”Comparison and Validation of Several Open Access Remotely Sensed Rainfall Products for the Nile Basin” during February 2015. Tim will continue to develop Python based tools that are used to collect data from internet and integrate them to generate the various standardized maps, tables and sheet of WA (see section Formulation on this website). With this software, it will become feasible to generate water accounts automatically. IWMI has selected Mansoor Delali Kwasi Leh (Ph.D.) from Ghana / USA to assist the WA team with the quantification of ecosystem services. Mansoor holds a Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas (2001) and he is an experienced SWAT modeller and GIS expert. Welcome to the team Mansoor and Tim!
Posted on August, 2015
UNESCO‑IHE is a founding member of the Water Footprint Network (http://waterfootprint.org/ and has a formal representation in their Supervisory Council. With the retirement of Mr. Joop de Schutter, Prof. Dr. Wim Bastiaanssen was asked to take over his seat, which will become effective in September 2015.
Posted on July, 2015
SERVIR Mekong is one of four SERVIR hubs currently operating across the developing world. SERVIR connects USAID’s development network in data‑poor environments with NASA’s science, technology and extensive satellite data. It will help governments and other key decision‑makers in Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam take advantage of publicly available satellite imagery, geospatial data and maps to make more informed decisions on issues such as water management, land use planning, disaster risk reduction, infrastructure development and natural resource management (read more).
The University of San Francisco (Dr. David Saah) and University of Colorado (Dr. Austin Troy) have requested UNESCO‑IHE to co‑develop an ”Ecosystem Service Value Baseline”. According to Mark Fenn from the Winrock Vietnam Forest and Delta project, this endeavour will help to assess ”the status of Natural Capital, something similar to GDP” by a push on the button.
Posted on June, 2015
The Asian Development Bank has signed a top‑up agreement with UNESCO‑IHE on several activities. One activity relates to the preparation of the water accounts of all 16 major river basins of Vietnam. IWMI‑Laos is a sub‑contractor in this project for providing Asian ownership. The project partners in Vietnam will be NAWAPI and IWRP, and the kick‑off workshop is planned for early August. ADB provides technical assistance to Vietnam on the preparation of the ”Country Water Assessment Vietnam”, and feels that a standard data collection system with a systematic reporting on various relevant water management issues is necessary to raise the plan to a higher level. WA is a suitable tool for that, and Vietnam will be a test case. In the case of positive evaluation, WA could also be considered as an input into the Asian Water Development Outlook, one of the most comprehensive water reviews of all 49 countries in Asia (www.adb.org/publications/asian-water-development-outlook-2013).
Posted on June, 2015
Mrs Marlies Barendrecht (M.Sc.) successfully defended her Master Thesis entitled ”Bridging the Information Gap between Scientists and Decision Makers in the Eastern Nile” at Delft University of Technology. She interviewed 35 water professionals in Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia up to Minister level. The major recommendation is that WA should reach out to the scientific advisors of Ministers. The respondents conclude that WA is (i) a useful concept and (ii) that it provides basic understanding of water resources in a river basin. More attention needs, however, to be given to (i) validation, (ii) compilation of short messages that can be understood by policy makers and (iii) preparation of water accounts at country level (rather than at basin level). We congratulate Marlies with her interesting piece of work at the downstream end of water accounting.
Posted on April, 2015
Mr. Ha Thanh Lan from the Institute of Water Resources Planning (MARD) and Ms. Na Nguyen from the Department of National Remote Sensing (MONRE) in Vietnam have decided to both embark on a Ph.D. study related to water accounting and ecosystem services (see news March 2015). Mr. Lan will focus on the integration of remote sensing and hydrological models for determining various water regulation related ecosystem services. Ms. Nguyen will concentrate her work on remote sensing and the carbon balance of forests, with an emphasis on carbon sequestration and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. She will study the link between rainfall, soil moisture and carbon pools in forested areas of the Ca basin. Spatial modelling of carbon fluxes could replace the outdated look-up tables between land use and carbon stocks as fixed numbers. These talented young professionals are considered to become the future leaders of water accounting in Vietnam.
Posted on March, 2015
As part of the MK27 healthy Red River project, a dedicated workshop was organized by IWMI in Vientiane to discuss elementary ecosystem services that could become a standard component of WA . It was found by the participants that the consumptive use of green and blue water should be related to ecosystem services in general, and not to agricultural services only. This is basically a plea for an expanded view on the water productivity concept. A list of 27 ecosystem service indicators has been formulated that can potentially be quantified by means of remote sensing and hydrological models. This can be considered as the blueprint for the research agenda on water accounting and ecosystem services (see April 2015). A first assessment to describe sustainable river basins has been made, and time series of key (state) variables will form the basis to quantify resilience, vulnerability and reliability processes. This sustainability related information should form the basis of WA sheet 8.
Posted on February, 2015
Professor Yasir Mohamed from UNESCO-IHE is organizing a training module on water accounting in the Blue Nile basin as part of the routine water management course in Delft. Interested students can attend his classes.
At the same time, Prof. Dr. Wim Bastiaanssen provided a short training course on the role of thermal infrared radiation in the detection of key water accounting processes at the Winrock office in Hanoi.
Posted on January, 2015
The USAID funded Vietnam Forest and Delta project under execution by Winrock International (http://www.winrock.org/country/vietnam/) has contracted UNESCO-IHE to assist them with the analysis of the water accounts for the Ca river basin in Vietnam. Winrock works closely together with the local water resources planning and policy institutes in Vietnam, and this is a great opportunity to test the recipient responses to the availability of WA data. Does the availability of WA really affect their strategic planning? The contract includes also on the spot training of water accounting and the underlying remote sensing techniques.
Posted on December, 2014
The FAO division for Land and Water has executed a WA study in the Helmand basin, Afghanistan. The work has been mainly executed by Livia Peiser and Jippe Hoogeveen from FAO based out of Rome.
Both experts were involved earlier in the water accounting studies of Okavango and Awash basins. Wim Bastiaanssen provided limited back up support. The study is a confirmation that earth observation data is a proper methodology for basins and countries where data is scant and field measurement programs and visits are difficult to organize. The final report is available on this website.
Posted on November, 2014
WLE granted a project to a consortium of IWMI and UNESCO‑IHE that is lead by Dr. Martine Rutten from TU Delft (http://www.citg.tudelft.nl/) related to the water accounts of the Day basin, a sub‑basin being located in the Delta of the Red River (Vietnam). The main emphasis of the project ‑ referred to as MK27 ‑ is to define a set of quantifiable ecosystem services that can contribute to create healthy rivers.
Posted on October, 2014
Maarten van Eekelen (M.Sc) has been transferred from the WA team in Delft to Vientiane (Laos). Maarten is under contract of IWMI and has started the diagnosis of the water accounts of the Mekong basin. The remote sensing data makes it feasible to also include the Chinese part in the upstream end of the Mekong basin. The first results will soon be uploaded on this website.
Posted on October, 2014
The Arab Water Council jointly with related NGO’s such as the Center for Environment and Development for the Arab Region and Europe (CEDARE) expressed interests to set up a system for water accounting that is based on earth observations. The Water Accounting team has attended two international workshops for outlining the major principles of WA.
Posted on September, 2014
The members of wateraccounting.org (i.e. IWMI, UNESCO-IHE and FAO) formally met at the FAO Headquarters in Rome. The development of the activities since the start in 2013 has been discussed within the group. All members are satisfied, albeit it was indicated that more exchanges of technologies and budgets are desirable. There is no need to create a special foundation at this stage. Being lean and efficient is the motto. An Advisory Board should be developed, with ambassadors of the WA approach that can spur the dissemination process. A list of actions has been defined.
Posted on July, 2014
UNESCO‑IHE and IWMI has signed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding joint collaborative research on water accounting and other water management related issues. The Director General IWMI Jeremy Bird visited Delft in March and signed the agreement with Rector IHE Andras Szöllösi‑Nagy. During June, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN (FAO) has also signed a similar Memorandum of Understanding with UNESCO‑IHE to foster exchanges on water accounting, water productivity and capacity building in general. Also IWMI and FAO have an agreement in place, which paves the way for a formal international tri‑party program on water accounting.
Posted on June, 2014
Gert Mulder has been assigned as hydrological programmer and groundwater hydrologist to the water accounting platform through a UNESCO‒IHE contract as per June 1st. Gert recently graduated from Delft University of Technology on a thesis entitled ”Observing groundwater depletion in Northern Iraq from space; A comparative study between catchment hydrology and the GRACE satellite mission”. Gert will work on river basins in East Africa and Asia that receive financial support from DGIS for improving water management.
FAO has made Livia Peiser available for 50% of her time to work on the water accounts of the Helmand basin in Afghanistan. Livia will operate from Rome together with her FAO colleague Jippe Hoogeveen. The same WA procedures will be applied and a standard WA reporting will be worked out.
Posted on April, 2014
The Institute took the initiative to establish the Special Chair of Global Water Accounting, in close collaboration with the International Water Management Institute and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.
Posted on April, 2014
Maarten van Eekelen will join the water accounting team starting April 1st. Maarten is a consultant to IWMI and he will be based in their Laos office. Maarten is a graduate from Delft University of Technology and did a Master thesis related to the computation of water withdrawals by irrigated crops, plantations, forests and wetlands in the transboundary Incomati basin. Maarten will work on the water accounts for the Water‑Land‑Ecosystems (WLE) program.
Posted on March, 2014
Poolad Karimi defended his Ph.D. thesis successfully on Friday March 28. The water accounting team congratulates him with this great achievement. His complete thesis is now accessible through the publications section of our website.