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Remote sensing and spatial data for water and environment

Towards an integrated approach bringing together space technologies, drones and in-situ
measurements for the management of natural resources and environment.


The quantitative and qualitative sustainable management of natural resources, water in particular,
and the mastery of global change are at the heart of national, European and international challenges.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030 adopted by the countries of the UN, then the
signing in 2016 of the Paris Agreement, reflect international awareness of the effects of climate
change and the need for both limit greenhouse gas emissions to curb this phenomenon and also,
immediately adapt territories, cities and human practices to these changes. To tackle this challenge,
the collection of data on the evolution of environmental parameters is essential at different
territorial scales, both on the oceans and on the continents and over long periods of recording in
order to establish trends. It is the basis for the implementation of new operational tools and services
dedicated, for example, to the monitoring of coastal erosion and changes in the coastline due to the
rise in sea level, the monitoring of snow-covered surfaces and glaciers, monitoring of the quantity
and quality of water, the aid to river navigation. In parallel, data from remote sensing and data
acquired from space, in particular using drones, have made enormous progress in recent years and
complement ground measurements with different levels of precision, spatial integration, frequency,
ease and cost of acquiring the data sets.
This symposium organized jointly by the Société Hydrotechnique de France (SHF) and the National
Center for Space Studies (CNES), with the support of the Investments for the Future Program (PIA),
constitutes the second edition on "the contribution of space technology to water challenges ". The
event proposes to take stock of the new services based on these observation and measurement
systems in the field of water, and their complementarity, both for issues on the national territory and
The symposium will address four topics:
Topic 1: The water cycle and quantitative water resource management
The first session will focus on quantitative water resource management. How do we determine the
status of water resources? How can we improve management of extremes, particularly during high
and low water stages? Variables such as precipitation, snowpack, water levels and flow rates and
water expanses need to be quantified and monitored. Existing and new satellites open up new ways
to address these challenges. New services have been developed using these space technologies, as
well as drones and other aerial vehicles.
Topic 2: Coastal water and shoreline management
Coastal areas are exposed to extreme anthropogenic, meteorological and climatic pressures. These
sensitive areas must be closely monitored, particularly in this era of climate change. Their alteration
can affect the economy, the tourism industry, biodiversity, human activities and land use. Shorelines
are now monitored by drones and Earth observation systems, which also provide access to
bathymetric data, sediment flow and water levels. In this session, we will discuss existing and future
strategies for addressing these challenges.

Topic 3: Water quality and biodiversity preservation
Water quality is a key concern for society. It is essential for food safety and to ensure an adequate
supply of drinking water for mankind, as well as for the protection of biodiversity and ecosystems.
Yet continuous monitoring of the quality of water expanses on a global scale presents a major
problem. In this area, access to other sources of field data is now available and new services can be
Topic 4: Advantages of multi-source information sharing
It is essential to share all sources of hydrological data (whether collected in situ, in the field, or by
drones, other aerial vehicles or satellites), together with their interpretation and integration into
tools, so as to derive the most from such data and to use them to develop new services and
applications. Moreover, to address climate change and pressure on water resources, it is critical to
raise social awareness of these problems and to promote active citizen involvement in making the
necessary adjustments. This session will focus on date sharing platforms, means of communication
and citizen participation.

Practical informations