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Improving water quality monitoring from satellites

Earthwatch Europe is part of the Multiscale Observation Networks for Optical monitoring of Coastal waters, Lakes and Estuaries (MONOCLE) collaboration. The project aims to improve satellite observations of coastal and inland waters. 

Coastal and inland waters are particularly vulnerable to environmental challenges such as urban development and oil pollution. However, it is difficult and often very expensive to monitor these constantly changing waters. Satellites are increasingly used to monitor water bodies from space, but they often cannot give a full picture of water quality.


What is MONOCLE?

MONOCLE is a project aimed at improving how we use satellites to collect data about coastal waters, lakes, estuaries and other waterbodies. Measurements provided from the ground, by automatic sensors and citizen scientists, are combined with satellite readings to create a more reliable and versatile service for monitoring water quality.

The project team will develop new technologies, making monitoring water quality less expensive and easier. Citizen scientists will also play a role in testing and maintaining new sensors, as well as collecting their own data, using, for example, sensors to measure water transparency, such as KduStick.  

MONOCLE integrates observations from satellites, automated sensors on buoys and ships, and handheld devices operated by people. This could mean that water quality can be reliably measured anywhere in the world, including places which are difficult to reach or where local resources for direct measurement are scarce. The related water quality data can then be used to develop evidence-based and sustainable water management policies.  

How does Earthwatch support MONOCLE?

Earthwatch is a leading organisation in citizen science and environmental science, with a long research interest in issues around measuring water quality. We’re proud to be one of 12 partners in this EU-funded collaboration. Earthwatch is leading on ensuring that the technologies developed during the MONOCLE project continue to be used long after the project closes in 2022. We’ll be identifying potential users, including businesses and research institutions, to be involved in developing the platform and its technologies further.


Find out more about the MONOCLE project

The project is funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No.776480.


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