WaPOR, remote sensing for water productivity

WaPOR at the 2023 UN Water Conference: summary and outcomes


On World Water Day 2023, 22-24 March, the world turned its gaze towards the United Nations Headquarters in New York City for the 2023 Conference for the Midterm Comprehensive Review of Implementation of the UN Decade for Action on Water and Sanitation (2018-2028) co-hosted by Tajikistan and the Netherlands. 

The FAO hosted a number of sessions among which, one that centered around WaPOR: "Securing water allocation for sustainable food production and the environment using innovative technologies and real time data" on 24 March, on site and online.

Head >>> here <<< for more more detailed information about the past event such as the session agenda, related conference events among others.

"Securing water allocation for sustainable food production and the environment using innovative technologies and real time data"

This page is dedicated to the outcomes of the session that can be rewatched at the following link:

Water Action Agenda commitments:

Hundreds of new entries (commitments) were added to the UN Partnership Platform, a global registry of voluntary commitments and multi-stakeholder partnerships made by stakeholders in support of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Two of these commitments feature the WaPOR portal and its data, click to find out more about each:


Key Issues discussed during the session: 

  • Interest of using remote sensing information in large countries with areas difficult to access like Sudan, Somalia, Kenya, Pakistan and the Sudano-Sahelian areas of Burkina Faso and Mali, as well as in smaller countries like Tunisia.
  • Diversity of applications using biophysical data:
         i) irrigation monitoring and performance improvement,
         ii) drought monitoring and early warning,
         iii) supporting floods responses,
         iv) localization of available and accessible biomass for pastoralism,v) early warning index based insurance,
         vi) water accounting,
         vii) implementation and enforcement of water management policies(such as water pricing)
         viii) improving agricultural production (yield).
  • Remaining challenges for wider use include:
         i) data access and actionable so such data does not remain in academia,
         ii) capacity development, and iii) internet connection
  • Some remote-sensing data is more suitable for larger contiguous agricultural areas. Need to figure out how the insights derived from those areas can benefit agricultural systems dominated by smallholder farmers that work in a dispersed manner.


Key recommendations for action: 

  • Work towards improving trust in remote-sensing products by
         - Validating remote-sensing data with in-situ data
         - Increasing user-base through open access education solutions: more users means more opportunities to test and improve the data.
  • Synergy of actions
  • Inclusion of civil society
  • Understanding the challenges to access of remote-sensing based products and explore possibilities such as offline tools where internet access is a barrier.
  • Moving beyond the bio-physical approaches and integrate citizen science and a gender perspective for more contextually-relevant information



The session was organized by: the Hydraulics research Center (HRC, Sudan), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Ministry of Water of Somalia, the Institut National des Grandes Cultures (INGC, Tunisia), the IHE Delft Institute for Water Education (IHE Delft), the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), and the Association for the PROmotion of Hydro-climatic and Environmental Services (APROSHE, Burkina Faso).