Space Saves Society
|Purpose||Monitoring and protecting water resources via earth observation satellite|
The organisation, founded and based in London, UK seeks to achieve international collaborations upon its causes, which include studying major water resources. The members of the organisation expect to deliver insights upon climate changes and the underlying mechanisms involved. Emphasis is placed on both the environmental prosperity and equilibrium, as well as on the wellness of the surrounding populations, the depending commerce, the health risks and other parameters believed to be interdependent.
The activities of the organisation vary among various risks but also emphasise on the importance of sustainable management to lead to effective economic growth, along with environmental prosperity.
Motivation and background
Satellite technology has been used for earth observation since the beginning of the first space missions realised. During the past few years this area of research has been gaining a lot of interest, so as to manage environmental risks and natural hazards (tsunamis, floods, volcanoes, etc.). The fear of climate changes, the consideration that most of the complex environmental mechanisms remain still very little explored and understood and the linkage between environmental indicators and health well-being, pose urgent needs for amplifying our monitoring techniques. Many initiatives have been granted in order to support environment-oriented consortiums, while additionally many international collaborations have been formed, namely GEOSS and GMES .
Space Saves Society follows the work of many international organisations which also use space-borne data for gaining insights upon the environment (    and other), and particularly focuses on the importance of water resources.
The importance of water
Water covers the largest percentage of our planet’s surface and it is vital for our survival. However, many areas still suffer from absence of drinking water. The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) refers that “Today 2.5 billion people, including almost one billion children, live without even basic sanitation. Every 20 seconds, a child dies as a result of poor sanitation. That's 1.5 million preventable deaths each year.”
Fishery is estimated being one of the major commerce markets. Worldwide Estimated total international trade in fishery commodities’ total production have shifted from 122.201 (1000 t) in 1999 to 142.287 (1000 t) in 2008. Sufficient management could optimise this commerce but would also ensure that human activities in the water areas do not interfere with the ecosystem’s equilibrium.
Water resources have not been so widely studied as compared to land and atmosphere, mainly because there exist more difficulties in the first case scenario. That’s the reason why studies in such cases are usually realised via UAVs and in-situ measurements. However, recent developments in water remote sensing allows more detailed analysis and understanding of the status of the water regions studied and of the effects that this can give rise to.
Means and Areas of focus
Space Saves Society makes uses of satellite imagery and satellite radiometer readings. The first, being acquired across a variety of EM spectrums, enables the identification of information otherwise impossible to be perceived, such as changes in recent changes in water volume, pollution, changes in concentration and vegetation, etc. Radiometer readings vary among surface temperatures, currents, salinity and other properties which can be used as indicators for understanding the changes and stresses an area might undergo.
Based upon the above technology, Space Saves Society focuses its studies on the following six main areas:
- Water Pollution – level of water pollution, coastal and other
- Sustainable Water Resources – exploration of new water resources, found underground, etc.
- Natural Hazards – potential hazards (like tsunami) may be detected in quite early stages
- Ecosystems' Equilibrium – monitoring of in depth vegetation and photosynthetic activity can be used as indicators of the underwater life quality
- Changes in Water Volume - monitoring changes in bathimetry and volume
- Natural Resources Economy – helping optimisation and management of fisheried commerce
Activities and Projects
Being recently founded, Space Saves Society has yet to create any charitable activities for the public to attend and support. However, the organisation has already announced its first project, named Five Lakes Water Protection Global Project. The project is going to be initiated on July 1, 2011 and will collect and analyse data of five of the most significant (in size, volume and near-by populations) lakes worldwide:
- Baikal (Russia)
- Victoria (Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya)
- Titicaca (Bolivia, Peru)
- Superior (United States, Canada)
- Tanganyika (Burundi, Congo, Tanzania, Zambia)
- Natural Hazards-Nasa Earth Observatory
- EO2HEAVEN Project
- HEREPLUS Project
- Global Monitoring for Environment and Security
- International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS)
- United States Global Change Research Program (USGCRP)
- African Monitoring of the Environment Sustainable Development (AMESD)
- World Water Assessment Program (WWAP)
- Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC)
- Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
- SMOS satellite tracks Pakistan floodS