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Applying Earth Observation services to detect non-authorised water abstractions in the EU.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Land and Water Resources Engineering.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In Europe, about 353 km3 of water are abstracted every year from natural resources . Water resources are used for very diverse activities including, energy production, agriculture, domestic uses and industry. Competing uses between the different sectors can lead to overabstraction where demand exceeds resources availability. The 2012 Blueprint to Safeguard Europe’s Water Resources identified non-authorised water abstractions, i.e. water abstractions without permits or exceeding the authorised amounts, as a cause of overabstraction and advocates the surveillance of water abstractions in each Member State .

This thesis report aims at studying the potential of Earth Observation technologies to detect non-authorised water abstractions. It briefly introduces the existing legal framework for water abstraction in Europe in order to better understand current challenges for the detection of non-authorised water abstraction and tries to assess the strengths and weaknesses of methods, for the detection of illegal withdrawals, relying on Earth Observation-derived data.

The combination of field measurements with Earth Observation-derived information addresses a certain number of issues experienced with the traditional field measurements alone approach (e.g. time and cost efficiency). However, it does not solve other issues related to governance and administrative aspects and heavily relies on weather and climatic conditions, which make Earth Observation methods non compatible with some regions in the European Union (EU). Besides this approach requires having access to a large number of data and major efforts are necessary to ensure a good coordination and communication between the different competent authorities responsible for the management of water abstractions and the entities which own the required data.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
, TRITA-LWR Degree Project, ISSN 1651-064X ; 2014:11
Keyword [en]
Non-authorised water abstractions; Earth Observation; Monitoring; Water rights; European Union
National Category
Civil Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-171788OAI: diva2:844514
Educational program
School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE) - Master of Science in Engineering
Available from: 2015-08-11 Created: 2015-08-06 Last updated: 2015-08-11Bibliographically approved

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