Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Books
Title (Primary) Quality known. GlobeWQ final report
Author Schmidt, C.; Jomaa, S.; Bärlund, I.; Büttner, O.; Borchardt, D.; Kumar, R. ORCID logo ; Batool, M. ORCID logo ; Schenk, K.; Heege, T.; Bauer, P.; Bernert, H.; Flörke, M.; Rivera, J.; Dürr, H.; Kynast, E.; Paulsen, H.; Rothstein, U.; Blitza, H.
Year 2023
Department ASAM; CHS; HDG; TB2-Water
Page To 90
Language englisch
Topic T5 Future Landscapes
Abstract Water quality is an essential component of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically highlighted in SDG 6, which focuses on „Ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.“ While the title may suggest a primary emphasis on drinking water and sanitation, SDG 6 encompasses a much broader scope, including the preservation of aquatic ecosystems and the maintenance of ambient water quality.
Maintaining and restoring good ambient water quality is essential for the integrity of aquatic ecosystems on the one hand, while on the other hand aquatic ecosystems provide services to society such as natural purification of water and the storage of freshwater in the landscape. But water quality hazards are present all over the world: Increasing pollution of freshwater as a result of rapid economic growth and urbanization in developing countries, and sustained, chronic pollution including long-term legacies in developed countries.
In 2019 a report entitled „Quality unknown“ by the Worldbank concluded that the water quality status is largely invisible and unknown because of the lack of information on water quality.In the 2021 progress update on SDG 6.3.2, water quality could not be assessed for about three billion people due the lack of water quality data. It is obvious that there is a need to improve water quality information.
The GlobeWQ project was designed to address the global challenge of improving water quality information. It was conducted from October 1st, 2019 to December 31st, 2022 funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
At a global scale, GlobeWQ has further developed and applied the WorldQual water quality model, providing information on concentration of fecal coliform bacteria, biological oxygen demand and total dissolved solids for rivers worldwide. A data-driven approach was applied to estimate global nitrate concentrations.
In addition to global information products, GlobeWQ has also developed regional platforms in collaboration with local users through a co-design process. Currently, there are operational demonstration cases for the Elbe basin in central Europe, Lake Sevan in Armenia, and Lake Victoria, which is Africa‘s largest lake. The GlobeWQ platform, which is web-based, provides access to global and regional water quality information by integrating data from satellite imagery, in situ observations, and model results. It employs free and open software, established standards, and interfaces to ensure interoperability with other platforms.
Clean water is essential for human and ecosystem health, but pressures on water quality will continue into the future. Numerous studies have examined the future of water resources from a quantitative perspective, but little attention has been paid to the future of water quality. This is reflected by the fact that there were no scenarios on water quality, i.e. projections on sanitation and treatment levels and other specific information are missing in the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs). A workstream ‘Scenario Analysis for World Water Quality Assessment’ was initiated under the umbrella of the World Water Quality Alliance and members of the GlobeWQ project team participated in and contributed to the development of a set of “light” world water quality scenarios. First model results show an increase in BOD and FC concentrations in many regions of the World in the SSP2-RCP6.0 scenario in 2050 although sanitation and treatment improved globally. The efforts made in this scenario are not sufficient to achieve SDG6.3. Further measures are required to reduce water pollution and protect human health and the environment from possible risks associated with water quality.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Schmidt, C., Jomaa, S., Bärlund, I., Büttner, O., Borchardt, D., Kumar, R., Batool, M., Schenk, K., Heege, T., Bauer, P., Bernert, H., Flörke, M., Rivera, J., Dürr, H., Kynast, E., Paulsen, H., Rothstein, U., Blitza, H. (2023):
Quality known. GlobeWQ final report
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research GmbH - UFZ [u.a.], Leipzig, 90 pp.