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The future of Remote Sensing and water resources

Since the advent of Remote Sensing with civil and research uses, its usefulness in the different needs of water resources has been explored. Periodically a work appears on the state of the art in which the different advances on the use of the enormous volume of data that systematically gave us the sensors installed in satellites, more or less distant, were defined. If we follow this constant count (1, 2, 3), the progress in the last decades have been more than noticeable both in the quality (type of studies, spatial and spectral resolutions, applications) and in the quantity (publications satellites, platforms).

The constant development of new technologies, together with the massive dissemination among the population of instruments that can support the use of products on water resources obtained through sensors makes the future really encouraging and, possibly, complicated. There was talk of using small carriers, nanosatellites, as a way to approach the evaluation of water quality (4) and the treatment of the massive amount of information seen as "big data" (5).

If we want to understand the future of Remote Sensing used for the exploration and management of water resources (6), we must think of a highly interrelated technological world where not only classical concepts are already consolidated, but something more open and complex in which interspersed sensors and platforms (new and existing), accessibility and user participation and interconnection of different digital media (Figure 1) work together.

Figura 1. Propuesta de McCabe et al. (6) de interrelación de todos los sistemas (sistema de sistemas) para la gestión de los recursos hídricos.
Figure 1. Proposal by McCabe et al. (6) of interrelation of all the systems (system of systems) for the management of water resources.


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1. Bhavsar, P.D. (1984): Review of remote sensing applications in hydrology and water resources management in India. Adv. Space Res., 4: 193-200.
2. Bastiaanssen, W.G.M. (1998): Remote Sensing in Water Resources Management: The State of the Art. International Water Management Institute, Colombo, Sri Lanka.
3. Chakilu, G.G. (2017): Review of the Role of Remote Sensing Technology in Water Resources Management. Journal of Environment and Earth Science, 8: 94-101.
4. Gallah, N., Bahri, O. B.m. Lazreg, N., Chaouch, A. (2017): Water Quality Monitoring based on Small Satellite Technology. International Journal of Advanced Computer Science and Applications, 8: 357-362.
5. Chen, L., Wang, L. (2018): Recent advance in earth observation big data for hydrology. Big Earth Data, 2: 86-107.
6. McCabe, M. F. et al. (2017): The future of Earth observation in hydrology. Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 21: 3879-3914.