All six Copernicus Services (Atmosphere, Marine, Land, Climate Change, Security, Energy) deliver water and hydrology related services. However, the European Commission noticed that this way it is hard to get a comprehensive understanding of the global water cycle, there are gaps in water related products, there are certain aspects of duplication and it is hard for different user communities to find relevant Copernicus products. Therefore, the Horizon2020 Space Programme had a call for a Coordination and Support Action project: "Copernicus evolution: Mission exploitation concept for WATER" to find the best long-term mission concept.
The "Water scenarios For Copernicus Exploitation" (Water-ForCE) consortium proposed to develop a Roadmap for Copernicus water services. The Roadmap will provide a user and stakeholder driven concept for water services (water quantity, water quality, hydrological parameters, ice, snow, etc.), by assessing the existing and emerging needs, the opportunities presented by the current and future technical capabilities of satellite and in situ sensors, and addressing the current disconnects between remote sensing, in situ observations and modelling communities. Critically, the Roadmap will deliver the clarity required in relation to the needs and expectations of the core Copernicus mission by the public and private sectors and the wider research and business innovation opportunities.
The Roadmap will contain:
- Analysis of different user communities
- Analysis on how Copernicus WATER services can support policy development and monitoring of their implementation
- Gaps analysis of the Copernicus water related services portfolio
- List of the future higher-level biogeochemical products
- Technical requirements for the future Copernicus sensors to improve water related services portfolio
- Proposal for organising in situ measurement networks in a way that is needed to validate Copernicus remote sensing and modelling products and provide necessary data that cannot be collected by remote sensing
- Proposal on how to define the relationships between Core Services and Downstream services
- Recommendation(s) on the evolution of WATER services (a new service, most of water services under one of the current Services, better integration of water related services, etc.).