Use of new data sources

New technologies are rapidly improving the capacity to collect, store, analyse, report and share data, and at the same time, are cutting the costs of doing so. Some examples include rapid advancements in tools based on the use of mobile phones and geospatial data collection, where data can be made available in real time for various uses through mobile-to-web applications.

Simplified and affordable technology allows for the expansion of citizen science, which, in turn, can help bring monitoring to resource-constrained or remote settings and improve data disaggregation. Similarly, Earth observations can be used for cost-effective monitoring of the extent and quality of ecosystems, land use and hydrology. Given that the spatial and temporal resolution of earth observations often is continuous, this type of information is particularly useful to track environmental changes over time.

Integrating all of these data does indeed represent a quantum leap in how water resources are being managed.

The use of new monitoring technologies can rapidly improve our knowledge about our water resources, and guide investment to where it is most needed (Photo credit: Malik Naumann, Creative Commons Attribution)

The use of new monitoring technologies can rapidly improve our knowledge about our water resources, and guide investment to where it is most needed (Photo credit: Malik Naumann, Creative Commons Attribution)