UNESCO-IHP IIWQ World Water Quality Portal

World’s first global water quality portal built to support UNESCO Program


Access to country-wide or transboundary status information and trends of water quality in inland and coastal waters is essential for high-level water-resource-management of governmental bodies. Such information can support efficient planning on localized comprehensive measurements and serve as a continuous monitoring instrument. Consistent and independent water quality information can be derived extremely cost-efficient and with a minimum of logistical effort for millions of inland and coastal waterbodies, using measurements from satellite-based earth observation (EO) sensors. State-of-the-art, globally harmonized information products in conjunction with a very user-friendly web access support this demand efficiently.

UNESCO, through its International Initiative on Water Quality (IIWQ) under the International Hydrological Programme (IHP), supports member states in responding to water quality challenges by promoting scientific research, mobilizing and disseminating knowledge, facilitating the sharing and exchange of technological and policy approaches, fostering capacity building, and raising awarenesson water quality1. It now publishes the first comprehensive global water quality atlas for freshwater systems like lakes and rivers as well as coastal regions retrieved from satellite-based earth observation data. The information is made freely accessible through the IIWQ World Water Portal.

EOMAP’s Water Quality Monitoring Services are focused on key parameters of water quality measures such as turbidity, suspended matter, chlorophyll-a or harmful algae blooms. In this first version of the portal, a merged global set of these parameters is provided at 90m resolution. Time series products are provided at 30m resolution for selected regions of each continent, covering the year 2016. Nowadays, this can be continued for every country and, for historical views, even up to 30 years back in time. With this technology, various temporal and spatial resolutions with accuracies down to a few meters are supported by utilizing a number of different satellite sensors with physicsbased analysis technologies.

UNESCO provides direct access to spatial and time series information through its IIWQ portal, a web application accessible from desktop computers as well as mobile devices. It includes functionalities to view water quality measures online and export reports for user defined water bodies and parameters. Environmental managers, politicians and scientists can ingest the service directly into their geospatial information systems for analysis and assessments. Training materials, supporting users to utilize the new information sources, are provided as well within the IIWQ portal.

The new online-portal is part of EOMAP’s next-generation product range, delivering innovation through Earth-observation data solutions for businesses and governmental agencies around the world.





Project Type

Worldwide Water Quality Pilot Project


Water Quality, UNESCO, IIWQ, IHQ