February 24, 2022

DFD Global WaterPack now in EOC geoservice

The existence of surface water and its accessibility play a prominent role for people and the environment. On the one hand flooding threatens people and infrastructure. On the other hand water scarcity endangers life, food security and the economy, especially in the arid regions of our planet. With Global WaterPack (GWP) EOC provides important information about the spatial and temporal distribution of surface water, both for scientists and for economic and political decision makers.

The “DFD Global WaterPack” (GWP) dataset offers spatial and temporal information about the frequency of local surface water coverage for Earth’s entire land area. The GWP dataset illustrates seasonal dynamics, the long-range increase or decrease in the extent of water surfaces, and the periods of time that water bodies freeze over during cold seasons. GWP is distinguished by daily temporal resolution and 250 metre spatial resolution. The yearly GWP data products show how often a location (a 250 x 250m pixel) is covered by surface water in a given year, starting in 2003. The dataset is accessible via the EOC Geoservice web app.

The potentials offered by the GWP dataset can be illustrated using the example of Lago Poopó. The size of this large Bolivian salt lake is governed by strong inter- and intra-annual fluctuations that can be monitored and analysed with GWP. Long periods of drought during the last El-Niño phase led to the complete drying out of the lake in 2016, for the first time since 1994. In addition to climate factors, especially water withdrawal for agricultural irrigation and mining purposes plays a decisive role. With GWP the local manifestation of the dynamics can be shown, which helps to improve quantification of the factors influencing these developments. 

EOC scientists process and analyse these date in various geoscience contexts as well as in the framework of international projects. The time series is expanded annually to include the latest year and the data can be made available on request for science purposes.