Global Water Reserves

Weekly estimates of surface water reserves for any region in the world.

Who needs our help?
Global water scarcity will be a crucial issue for human development and security in coming decades. Currently, over 80 countries around the world face issues relating to water, the key resource for everything from industry to agriculture to basic survival. The growing global population, economic growth, and climate change will only exacerbate water issues as demand increases in conjunction with a declining supply.

When it comes to understanding and combating the crisis at hand, improved water-level data is a key aspect of the solution. Through its water level classifier, Orbital Insight will be able to track the water levels of key bodies around the world. This will provide valuable data for a wide range of organizations, such as industrial companies attempting to forecast input prices relating to water, financial firms investing in water resources, and governments attempting to negotiate and monitor water treaties.

Measuring at the Global Level
Orbital Insight continuously monitors changes in surface water reserves across on a global scale with bi-weekly revisits.

Orbital Insight classifies water using low-resolution, high-coverage satellites to map bodies of water, analyzing each pixel to determine a probability of it being water or land to catalog surface water. See an example below.

Surface area of water bodies are then used to calculate volume and are be indicative of flooding, drought and other water-related conditions.

San Luis Reservoir Case Study

In examining the persistence of drought conditions at the San Luis Reservoir in California, we found an annual pattern in which the amount of water dips to its minimum at the end of summer and through the fall, and increases again through the winter due to precipitation. These levels continue to rise in spring as the snowpack thaws. By analyzing the depth of those dips over the years, we can illustrate the drought’s intensity since 2011.

Mosul Dam. Shown are the original Landsat image, a map of each pixel’s probability of being water, and the final thresholded water map.

Mosul Dam. Shown are the original Landsat image, a map of each pixel’s probability of being water, and the final thresholded water map.

Mosul Dam. Shown are the original Landsat image, a map of each pixel’s probability of being water, and the final thresholded water map.

Figure 1

WATER Landsat8 and Ground Truth Normalized Trends at San Luis Reservoir

Figure 2

WATER OI and Ground Truth Normalized Trends at San Luis Reservoir


Find out more about Global Water Reserves. Email us at sales@orbitalinsight.com or call +1 650-353-2060

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