EGU22-12660, updated on 28 Mar 2022
EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Co-designing Global Water Watch for Anticipatory Action 

Emie Klein Holkenborg, Hessel Winsemius, and Marc van den Homberg
Emie Klein Holkenborg et al.
  • Delft University of Technology, Netherlands (

Climate change, political instability, and the non-sustainable use of water threaten the per capita water resources of dependent societies and severely impact communities during a period of below-average rainfall. To combat the increasing impact of drought disasters, the International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement focuses on Anticipatory Action. The indication of the status quo of droughts is vital in the anticipation of natural disasters. This indication is potentially benefitted by data on the freshwater reserves. Global Water Watch, being developed by Deltares, WRI, and WWF, is the first online platform providing open access, transparent, and near real-time information on the (historic) water dynamics of fresh surface water resources across the globe, ranging from small to large water bodies. The dataset ranges from 1985 to the present and is derived from earth observation data using artificial intelligence on a global scale. In the scope of Human Centred Design, co-design sessions were held with representatives of Red Cross Red Crescent National Societies in Mozambique, Eswatini, and Zimbabwe. The results were analyzed in a persona journey, gap analysis, and product definition. This resulted in the identification of five potential products of Global Water Watch, related to Anticipatory Action as well as responsive action, the traditional disaster management method used by National Societies. The priority in the recommendation was based on the products their effort in development, relative to their impact. Products that are considered low-hanging fruits in development (high impact, low effort) are monitoring surface waters in near-real-time, and the service of providing data in an API. This ensures that the data can be used in the Impact Based Forecasting platform, developed by 510. Over the long run, a reservoir volume monitor in near-real-time is recommended (high impact, high effort). Also, a long-term recommendation is a product that ensures the export of data in a specific format that can be easily read and shared via email and WhatsApp (low impact, low effort). Last, a product that estimates the future volume of reservoirs (high impact, high effort) could be considered. However, it is not sure if the impact is worth the effort, especially in a situation where a reservoir volume monitor in near-real-time might already be in place.  

How to cite: Klein Holkenborg, E., Winsemius, H., and van den Homberg, M.: Co-designing Global Water Watch for Anticipatory Action , EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-12660,, 2022.


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