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GEO Global Water Sustainability (GEOGLOWS): Earth Observations for sustainability in water management in the Americas and around the world

IWRA World Water Congress 2017 - Cancun Mexico
A. Bridging science and policy
Author(s): Angelica Gutierrez
Bradley Doorn
Richard Lawford
Nancy D. Searby

Angelica Gutierrez
Office of Water Prediction, NOAA, , 1325 East West Highway, Silver Spring, MD, USA 20910
Bradley Doorn
Applied Sciences Program, Earth Sciences Division, NASA Headquarters, 300 E St SW, Rm 3S42, Washington, DC, USA 20546
Richard Lawford
Morgan State University
Nancy D. Searby
Applied Sciences Program, Earth Sciences Division, NASA Headquarters, 300 E St SW, Rm 3S42, Washington, DC, USA 20546

Keyword(s): Earth observations, GEO, AmeriGEOSS, Americas
Article: Oral:

The GEOGLOWS framework seeks collaboration and coordination facilitating the use of Earth observations to address water shortages and excesses, as well as degraded water quality arising from population growth, climate change, and industrial development. Analyses of the Essential Water Variables (EWVs) constitute the foundation of knowledge development, supporting water management decisions to minimize watershed and regional risk and to inform national and local policies to promote water sustainability. Such analyses are used to support capacity building through regional programs and alliances.   To achieve its objectives, GEOGLOWS strives to enhance observational programs, implements systems for data and product dissemination, innovates ways to make more effective use of data through applications and research, and promotes and implements free and open data exchange and GEO principles of data management.
The Americas are an important early regional focus for these activities, as GEO country members through the AmeriGEOSS initiative agreed to a coordinated collaboration in four (4) priority areas, including water. Among these activities, the GEONETCast-Americas data distribution system, where hydrology and meteorology users in many AmeriGEOSS member countries have operational systems that provide water data to users, is expanding. In 2016 the systems reached 50 receiving antennas in 12 countries. In 2017, in addition to increasing coverage in other countries, the goal is the expansion of services to the marine biodiversity and ecosystem area.  As a first step in addressing this challenge, the Global Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON) has volunteered to coordinate and broadcast products provided by partners in the Americas. An example of project implementation is provided by the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which is transforming its water prediction services with an improved National Water Model, now fully operational on the National Weather Service Weather and Climate Operational Supercomputing System. The United States and Canada are also collaborating in the Great Lakes to make bi-national datasets discoverable (easy to find), transparent (easy to understand) and interoperable (easy to use). A unique group under AmeriGEOSS is the Community of Hydrographic and Spatial Information for Latin America and the Caribbean (CIEHLYC), a technical network established in 2011 as a working group of the GEO Americas Caucus, which provides a unique GEO perspective in the areas of outreach and capacity building in the water area.  This group of water and remote sensing experts from governments and academia, have created an international non-profit network that coordinates and develops water-related projects and activities in Latin America and the Caribbean.
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