WaPOR, remote sensing for water productivity

WaPOR selected to receive the 2023 GEO SDG Award in recognition of its groundbreaking contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals


FAO will be honored with the prestigious 2023 GEO SDG Award for its groundbreaking project, WaPOR, during the Award Ceremony that will take place in Cape Town, South Africa, on 8 November 2023 at GEO Week. Launched in 2017, WaPOR is a publicly accessible near real-time database using satellite data to monitor agricultural water productivity at various scales.

The GEO SDG Awards, organized by the EO4SDG initiative under the auspices of the GEO Group on Earth Observation, recognizes entities, institutions, and countries that harness Earth observations to advance the Sustainable Development Goals.

WaPOR's selection followed a careful evaluation by a panel of eight unique experts representing diverse countries and sectors, based on the overall impact, quality, and soundness of the Earth observation endeavors, and its potential for replication and upscaling.

Since its inception, WaPOR has been providing near-real time data covering Africa and the Near East, and it has recently been expanded to encompass the entire globe. In addition to data production and dissemination, FAO, in collaboration with IHE Delft and IWMI, is actively assisting user groups in target countries in enhancing their capacity to utilize the data and create customized applications to meet the diverse needs of users, ranging from governments to service providers and farmers worldwide. Moreover, WaPOR holds significant relevance in reporting on SDG 6.4.1, focusing on water-use efficiency, with FAO acting as the custodian agency. All data, methodologies, algorithms, and scripts are made openly available, and the data is also disseminated through APIs to facilitate seamless integration into existing platforms, tools, or applications.

This prestigious award recognizes WaPOR for its exemplary contribution to advancing sustainable agriculture and water resource management, and underscores the vital role that innovative applications of Earth observation play in addressing the world's most pressing challenges.