Water & Climate

Water is essential to life on Earth. Too little and starvation looms; too much and destructive forces are unleashed. Water management professionals therefore focus on avoiding both extremes, retaining water in times of drought and releasing water in times of flood.


Their efforts to control the water cycle face the challenge of dealing with unpredictable natural systems while meeting an ever-increasing human demand for water.

Numerical models are used to simulate water flows. These enable us to calculate how much water ends up where and the effect of human intervention. The accuracy of model predictions relies heavily on the input data, the starting point for all calculations. Accurate benchmarking is essential for accurate predictions and successful water management.

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The case for remote sensing

In recent decades, remote sensing has become an important information source for water managers. Specialised instruments on board satellites can now detect hydro-meteorological variations with sufficient frequency and resolution to capture dynamic hydrologic processes on the ground. Remote sensing provides data on surface water, temperature, precipitation, soil moisture and land surface characteristics.

Combining satellite images with hydrologic modelling allows us to quantify flows and stores in the water cycle, including evapotranspiration. Near real-time monitoring and unprecedented levels of detail have taken water resource management to new heights.

VanderSat delivers its data using an in-house developed API, ensuring seamless integration with your operating system and allowing you to download point locations, raster data and averaged data on a specific region of interest (e.g. your field). The processed data is made available daily, six hours after satellite overpass.

Satellite observed

VanderSat uses images from sensors on board satellites launched by the world’s leading space agencies: NASA, ESA and JAXA.

High resolution

The raw images are processed, corrected for noise and downscaled using VanderSat’s own method to achieve higher resolution: from a native resolution of 10 to 20km to 100m, enabling soil moisture to be measured at field level.

Realtime and archive

An archive of historical images stretching back years enables historical comparison and long-term climatological analysis.

Some of our clients in water & climate

See all our water and climate cases

Water resource management and the need for information

Every day, water allocation professionals make key decisions: operating sluices, moveable weirs and spillways, and activating pumps and turbines to move water through the system. Their objectives are many and sometimes contradictory: maintaining water levels for navigation, recreation and environmental purposes while safeguarding water reserves for irrigation, human consumption and hydropower production. Prioritisation and decision support systems are often in place to make sure the right action is taken.

To act effectively in a constantly changing environment and in times of water stress, managers need in-depth information on the current state of the hydrologic system and its likely responses to fluctuating weather conditions. Incomplete or inaccurate data can lead to ineffective or even detrimental decisions.

Most countries have invested in telemetry systems that collect information from the field. These in situ systems are both extremely valuable and fragile, relying on sensitive equipment that is exposed to the elements. These field instruments are at their most vulnerable during extreme weather events, when their observations are needed most. Telemetry also means relying on a sparse network with observation points scattered across a watershed of hundreds of square kilometres.

“Our satellite data gives you an instantly global outlook, all the information you need right there at your fingertips.”

So, let's have a conversation?

Tell me about the problem you’re facing or the water-related business case you would like to explore.

Simone van Schijndel MSc
Sr. Strategist Water & Climatesvanschijndel@vandersat.com