Archives Under  "Water" (RSS)

Hasta luego

Cordoba water wheel

I´m leaving Spain, at least for a while: after 5 years turning back to the Netherlands. Of course, my eyes keep focused on this fascinating country which has much more to offer than sun, beaches and fiesta. Spain is a country with a large history in water management and the struggle for water resulted in innovative solutions going back to the Roman and Arabic period. (more…)

Turning the water cycle upside down in Spain

River in Catalonia

Within 50 years there won’t be any glacier left in the Pyrenees: this showed a study published recently in the scientific journal The Holocene and carried out by a team of researchers from three Spanish universities. Still 21 glaciers are present these days, 10 of them on the Spanish side of the mountain range. However, in 2050 it seems that they will all have been disappeared. Less snow means less snowmelt in spring. In Spain this implies less runoff flowing to the water reservoirs and thus less drinking and irrigation water available in summer. (more…)

The use of satellite radar remote sensing in Catalonia

Most of the civil applications of remote sensing technology in Catalonia use optical satellite imagery. However, interest is growing in radar satellite measurements, in some cases to enhance the existing optical information but also totally new applications arise. Most of them are related to the monitoring of the part of the Mediterranean Sea that affects the Catalonian “costas”, but also some land applications are being given a chance as for example the observation of soil moisture to optimize water use in agriculture.

Remote sensing of snow resources in the Pyrenees

Snow in the PyreneesRemote sensing uses measurements of the electromagnetic spectrum to characterize the landscape, or infer properties of it, and in some cases, actually measure hydrologic state variables. Most of the remote sensing developments and applications are centered around satellite systems. One of the advantages of remote sensing is that the data can be acquired in remote areas, as mountain ranges, where information can be obtained about the natural and water resources, for example the snow cover extent.

In Catalonia (Spain), snow cover and the equivalent amount of water volume stored supplies an important part of the water that is used for irrigation and drinking water, especially for the city of Barcelona. Since several years, satellite imagery is used to obtain snow cover data in the Pyrenees. This information is used to respond to the high variation of runoff depth that can vary greatly from year to year because of the differences in the precipitation regime and the resulting seasonal snow cover. (more…)