Webinar Series: Expanding Support to Water Accounting in River Basins and Water Productivity Measurement in Irrigation Projects

Posted on Nov, 2020

The ADB Water Sector Group, IHE Delft Institute for Water Education (IHE Delft), and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) are conducting a two-part webinar on water accounting and water productivity analyses using remote sensing on 12 and 18 November, respectively. The two-part webinar will describe the concepts and methodologies, as well as present some of the results from the case studies and impacts on decision making. The webinars are part of a blended online approach, which will also include different knowledge products (such as reports, data, videos, etc.) that will be made available online through the ADB Knowledge Events website, IHE YouTube channel, and

In the first webinar on 12 November, we will share the results of the water accounting studies, in which remote sensing data are used to generate quantitative information and maps on major storages, flows, and fluxes of water resources within a river basin. The concept of water accounting and the Water Accounting Plus (WA+) methodology will be introduced, along with examples on how water accounting can be used in decision-making and a vision for the future of remote sensing-based water accounting from ACIWRM. Following the presentation, there will be a Q&A session with the expert panel.

In the second webinar on 18 November, IHE Delft and IWMI will share the results of their water productivity studies, combining field and remote sensing data to provide detailed information on how productive irrigated agricultural lands are compared to the amount of water consumed. We will introduce the concept and methodology of remote sensing-based water productivity, showcasing the results of three water productivity studies and examples of how water productivity results have impacted decision-making. There will be a Q&A session with the expert panel after the presentations.

These sessions are free to attend and open to the public. We encourage you to join us and interact with our team of experts to learn more about the methodologies, results from various case studies, and using the analyses in practice. You can register for one or both of the webinars here.

This is part of the work under the Water Financing Partnership Facility through the technical assistance (TA 6498), Knowledge and Innovation Support for ADB’s Water Financing Program.

New Open Course on "Water Productivity and Water Accounting using WaPOR"

Posted on Sept, 2020

IHE Delft Institute for Water Education and FAO have developed an open online course to teach end-users how to actively use the WaPOR portal for their own needs. The main focus of the course will be on how to search, download, and apply WaPOR data for water productivity and water accounting studies.

WaPOR is the portal to monitor Water Productivity through Open-access of Remotely sensed derived data ( and has been developed by FAO. The WaPOR programme assists countries in monitoring water productivity, identifying water productivity gaps, proposing solutions to reduce these gaps, and contributing to a sustainable increase in agricultural production. At the same time, it takes into account ecosystems and the equitable use of water resources, with the goal of achieving an overall reduction in water stress.

There are 3 modules included in the course:

In Module 1: Introduction and Usage, students will be introduced to the WaPOR portal, the data components that the WaPOR database provides, and how the quality of the WaPOR data are assessed. Students will learn how to collect and analyse the WaPOR spatial data using QGIS and Python and have the option to learn how to use the WaPOR API for their own app development.

In Module 2: Water Productivity, students will be introduced to the concept of water productivity and how WaPOR can be used to calculate various indicators in agricultural crop production. Students will be guided on how to use GIS and Python to analyze water productivity and other irrigation performance indicators, as well as to identify bright spots (high yield and water productivity areas) and yield gaps to assess potential improvements in crop production and agricultural water management.

In Module 3: Water Accounting, students will be introduced to the concept and applications of water accounting using remote sensing (RS) products and global data sets. Students will learn how to compute water balance for a river basin, compare RS data with in-situ measurements, compute precipitation and evapotranspiration (ET) values for different land cover classes, split ET into rainfall and incremental components, and understand water account reporting, including key indicators of water resources in a river basin.

The course is free to attend and is open to all who are interested. A reliable internet connection is required. The course is self-paced with new units being released on a weekly basis, beginning September 7, 2020 for Module 1 and October 12, 2020 for Modules 2 and 3. A certificate of completion can be obtained after completing Module 1 and either Module 2 or 3.

How to register: Sign up for an IHE OpenCourseWare account and then go to the course page to enroll.

Four new Water Accounting Plus reports available from IHE Delft and FAO

Posted on Sept, 2020

Four new reports in the Water Accounting Series: Remote Sensing for Water Productivity have been published by FAO and IHE Delft. These reports use a simplified Water Accounting Plus (WA+) framework, which was developed by IHE Delft with its partners FAO and IWMI, to conduct rapid water accounting studies in Africa and Middle East. The data used in the analyses came from the FAO portal to monitor Water Productivity through Open access of remotely sensed data (WaPOR), specifically for precipitation, actual evapotranspiration, interception, and land cover classification, with additional inputs from other open data sources for changes in storage, protected areas, and reservoirs and dams. These reports focused on four transboundary river basins of regional importance: the Litani River Basin (published in 2109), the Jordan River Basin (published in 2020), the Awash River Basin (published in 2020), and the Nile River Basin (published in 2020). You can read the reports on the Water Accounting website.

Water Productivity training in Jordan from 26-29 October, 2019

Posted on Nov, 2019

The WaPOR training was provided to participants, which prepared crop map following the training on ‘Crop Mapping using Remote Sensing’ of the FAO-Sida project on “Implementing the 2030 Agenda for water efficiency/productivity and water sustainability in NENA countries”. The four-day training [26-29 October 2019] was attained by 21 people from seven Near East and North Africa countries (Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia); and it was delivered by Dr Abebe Demissie Chukalla (IHE-Delft) with support by Dr Kamar Khazal (FAO).

The WaPOR training covers lectures on WaPOR dataset/portal and concepts and calculation of water productivity. In addition, trainees did exercise on point and area time-series analyses using WaPOR portal and spatiotemporal raster data download and water productivity analyses using python scripts. The final output is a water productivity map using the actual ET and biomass data from WaPOR and the crop maps prepared by the participants. Participants did the exercises using the latest version of the WaPOR database (v2.0), which was released on 17 June 2019, on a selected case study. The participants used the actual ET and net primary production available at the resolutions available for their respective project areas. Finally, the training was concluded by presentations from the participants on the result of the exercises followed by discussing and reflecting on the potential use of WaPOR.

Short training courses: Water Accounting and Water Productivity using WaPOR database in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Posted on Jul, 2019

These trainings form part of a series of trainings as part of the project ‘Using remote sensing in support of solutions to reduce agricultural water productivity gaps’, funded by the government of the Netherlands. A major output is the comprehensive database that provides information on biomass production and evapotranspiration. The FAO portal to monitor Water Productivity through Open access of remotely sensed derived data (WaPOR) monitors and reports on agriculture water productivity over Africa and the Near East. It provides open access to the water productivity database and its thousands of underlying map layers, it allows for direct data queries, time series analyses, area statistics and data download of key variables associated to water and land productivity assessments.

The training on Water Accounting was held from 9th to 11th July, 2019 by Dr. Solomon Seyoum and Bich Tran and followed by the training on Water Productivity which was held from 29th to 31th July,2019 by Dr. Abebe Chukalla and Dr. Marloes Mul. The participants consisted of staff and students from local universities (Addis Ababa University, Gondar University, Wellega University, Ambo University) research institutes and Awash Basin office. During the trainings, the participants learned about WaPOR database, how to download and use these data to assess Water Accounts and Water Productivity.

Summer Course: Water Accounting for Standardized Reporting of Water Resources in River Basins

Posted on April, 2017

For the second time, a Water Accounting+ training will be offered by IHE-Delft as summer course. The course will be held in Delft, The Netherlands from 31 July to 4 August. The training is part of the IHE-Delft summer courses that are offered primarily to M.Sc. students but also external participants are welcomed to attend it. The registration is now open and it will end on 30 June. The course will give participants an introduction to the WA+ framework, case studies are used to learn how to interpret accounting sheets results and support decision makers in developing management plans. Participants will get exposed to the (remote sensing) open access data available, will learn how to download, process spatial data, and finally how to convert this data into a coherent information structure on hydrological processes and water management practices. More information can be obtained from Dr. Elga Salvadore ( and Prof. Dr. Wim Bastiaanssen (

Arab Water Week

Posted on March, 2017

The Water Accounting team was present in the 2017 Arab Water Week conference. The theme of the conference was “Managing Water Systems within Fragile Environments”, a major challenge in the Arab region due the stress and the current situation of the available water resources. IHE Delft organized the session on “Managing Water Scarcity in the Middle East: A global Partnership for Water and Development” in which Dr. Gonzalo Espinoza presented the on-going Water Accounting studies for the Litani and the Jordan River Basins.

As part of the post-conference events, Dr. Poolad Karimi and Dr. Gonzalo Espinoza held a training on the “Latest Advances in Technology to Support Managing Water Scarcity in the Middle East”. The training included the general concepts of water accounting, water scarcity, and their link to the state of water resources in the region. The training included more than 25 participants from the countries of Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Palestine, Turkey, and Yemen.

Women in Water: The first Water Accounting Training in Karnataka

Posted on February, 2017

The first of two training session on Water Accounting+ was conducted on 24-28 January in Bengaluru for 30 water professionals affiliated to the Government of Karnataka. Remarkable was the gender composition to this workshop in which 15 out of 30 participants were women: achieving a perfect gender balance. The Water Accounting team considers the empowerment of women in the water sector as one of the successes of this training.

The training was organized by the Advanced Center for Integrated Water Resources Management (ACIWRM) with the support of the Asian Development Bank. Dr. Elga Salvadore and Prof. Dr. Wim Bastiaanssen have given lessons on various topics related to Water Accounting+, including: WA sheets, open access remote sensing databases, beneficial water consumption, basics of GIS (QGIS) and Python, and the use of the WA+ tools available on GitHub. The next training session will take place in July 2017.

WA+ Workshops India: Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka

Posted on February, 2017

A one day workshop on Water Accounting and Water Productivity using remote sensing data was held in Bhopal on 20 January and in Bengaluru on 23 January (more information for representatives of local Ministries, NGO’s, and universities of Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka (about 35 participants in Bhopal and 70 in Bengaluru). Prof. Dr. Wim Bastiaanssen, Dr. Elga Salvadore and Dr. Xueliang Cai presented the preliminary results of the ongoing WA+ and future WP activity in the two Indian States and how WA+ can support monitoring of water resources conditions, and the preparation of sustainable development plans. The WA+ and WP activity in Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka is supported by the Asian Development Bank as an effort to provide leaders in the region with quantitative and comprehensive data to tackle the key issue of water security (more information, p.75-77).

MSc student work in Ethiopia and Sudan

Posted on January, 2017

Our students have returned from doing fieldwork for their MSc thesis. Wubengeda Yilma (right picture) is doing a water productivity study for various agricultural areas in the Awash region in Ethiopia. Field measurements and farmer surveys were conducted to achieve yield estimates for the main crops of the region (amongst others sugar cane, maize, onion, and tomato). The yield results are used as validation of remote sensing based calculations of crop water productivity. Limbani Kaluwa (left picture) is conducting a study on the irrigation performance of the Gezira Scheme in Sudan using remote sensing data. He made a field visit to achieve measurements and crop data for different blocks within the scheme. The students will finish writing their thesis by April this year as fulfilment for their UNESCO-IHE MSc degree.

Final Water Accounting+ Workshop in Cambodia

Posted on December, 2016

The final workshop on Water Accounting+ was organized by the Asian Development Bank in Phnom Penh on 2 December. In this venue, Dr. Elga Salvadore and Prof. Dr. Wim Bastiaanssen presented the results of the WA+ activity focusing on the interpretation of the water accounts for the Tonle Sap basin. This workshop gave the opportunity to discuss key topics such as water and land management, the need for long-term plans and how Water Accounting + can support the government of Cambodia in achieving a sustainable growth.

During 2016, three training sessions were provided to a group of 40 technical staff of several ministries (MOWRAM, MAFF, MOE, Tonle Sap Authority) by Dr. Elga Salvadore, Bert Coerver, and Prof. Dr. Wim Bastiaanssen. Participants have learned the basics of Water Accounting, how to access and process remote sensing spatial data using QGIS and Python. The participants have also presented what they have learned and how this knowledge can be of benefit for their respective Ministries during the Final Workshop, and have expressed interest to continue the training in 2017. ADB has positively responded to this request and trainings are expected in Cambodia in April and October 2017.

FAO: Methodology and Progress Review Workshop

Posted on October, 2016

For an on-going project with the FAO (Remote sensing for water productivity) we had a methodology workshop on the water productivity database. The approach, algorithms, and other calculations for achieving the various data outputs of the database were discussed. Several of the project team were present including FAO staff, UNESCO-IHE staff, and the FRAME consortium (under the lead of eLEAF). More information on this project can be found on the project website.

UNESCO-IHE summer course: Water Accounting

Posted on July, 2016

The first Water Accounting summer course reflects the increased need to have independent and open access data to support water resources management. During this week we presented the Water Accounting Plus framework (WA+), which is strongly based on Remote Sensing, to 31 participants coming from 19 different countries. Academic UNESCO-IHE students and external participants from national and international, public and private sectors (ADB, WB, ACIWRM, DGIS and Jain irrigation) joined together to learn more about WA+.

The journey started from understanding the needs from a political and institutional point of view. The UNESCO-IHE rector Dr. Fritz Holzwarth gave an inspiring lecture stating how WA+ could support international water policy negotiations. Our global water accounting professor, Dr. Wim Bastiaanssen, explained all the fundamental concepts behind the WA+ framework, shared his long experience in water studies and in the use of the latest technology for agriculture and water management. The pool of teachers included: Dr. Elga Salvadore (course coordinator, theory and exercises on WA+), Dr. Gonzalo Espinoza (open access databases for WA+ and exercises with spatial data), MSc Tim Hessels (exercises with spatial data), Dr. Jonna van Opstal (Water Productivity theory and exercises), Dr. Cai Xueliang (link between WA+ and SDGs). Many technical aspects were also addressed with practical exercises, among others: how to download essential data from open access databases, GIS and Remote Sensing data analysis and computer programming for WA+ computations. Water productivity was one of the pillars of the past week and we would like to thank Dr. Kleijn from the Dutch Ministry of External Affairs for sharing with the participant the government perspective on this relevant topic. Finally, the WA+ framework represents a step forward in promoting Water Democracy and we are sure this summer course is just the beginning!

Water Accounting+ in India: Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka

Posted on June, 2016

The WA+ team of IHE-Delft will prepare water accounts for two basins in Madhya Pradesh (Kali Sindh and Wainganga), and one basin in Karnataka (Tugabhadra). This activity is part of the Asian Development Bank effort in piloting the Water Accounting+ framework in several Asian countries. At the end of May, Dr. Elga Salvadore visited the Water Resources Department (WRD) of Madhya Pradesh (Mr. Y.C. Sharma, Superintending Engineer at PICU Bhopal) and the Advanced Center for Integrated Water Resources Management (ACIWRM), the think-tank of the WRD of Karnataka (Dr. P.S. Rao, Director Technical, Mr. C. Lyle, Chief Technical Advisor). Two one-week training sessions will be provided to the recipient organization to enable the technical staff of the Ministries to autonomously produce and interpret the accounting sheets

Water Accounting+: Inception Workshop in Cambodia

Posted on May, 2016

The Asian Development Bank intends to pilot the Water Accounting+ framework in several basins in Asia. In March, the Water Accounting team of IHE-Delft have initiated the WA+ analysis for the five major basin groups in Cambodia: Tonle Sap, Three S, Upper Mekong, Lower Mekong and Coastal Catchments. An Inception Workshop was held in Phnom Penh on 3 May with the participation of 40 senior officials from several Ministries of Cambodia. During the Workshop, Dr. Elga Salvadore and Prof. Dr. Wim Bastiaanssen introduced the Water Accounting+ framework and showed the potential of Remote Sensing applications for Water Resources Management. A major outcome of the Inception Workshop was a large consent and interest on the WA+ activity in Cambodia. The planned activities include water accounts for selected historical years for the five major basin groups, and was agreed on providing three training sessions of 4 days for technical staff from the Ministries during 2016. For more information (in Khmer language) visit the website of the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology.

The opening speeches were given by H.E. Ty Sokhun, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), H.E. Thor Chetha, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology (MOWRAM), Mr. Samiuela Tukuafu, Country Director ADB Cambodia Resident Mission.

New staff member

Posted on May, 2016

Dr. Xueliang Cai joined the WA team as a water productivity specialist and a senior lecturer at UNESCO-IHE. He has over 10 years’ international working experience in Asia, Africa, and more recently, the Netherlands. Within the water accounting group his current interests are on crop water productivity analysis for water and food security, with a particular focus on Asia, which includes pilot study and training in six countries. Before joining UNESCO-IHE, Cai worked at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) in South Africa as a researcher and prior to that, in Sri Lanka as a postdoc fellow. He has worked on diverse topics including irrigation, water resources development, climate change, ecosystem services, and flood management. Cai obtained his Ph.D. from Wuhan University in China with a focus on multi-scale and multi modeling approach to irrigation water management.

New staff member

Posted on April, 2016

Dr. Jonna van Opstal joined the WA team at UNESCO-IHE (Delft) in March. She finished a Ph.D. in Irrigation Engineering at Utah State University with a focus on using remote sensing tools for evaluating irrigation district performance. Within the water accounting team she is involved in the water productivity of agricultural areas using satellite remote sensing for crop classification, biomass and evapotranspiration estimates using SEBAL. This work is conducted for a FAO project, which will characterize the water productivity of several irrigation schemes located in Africa and the Middle East.

Water Accounting Summer Course

Posted on April, 2016

UNESCO-IHE has decided to provide a summer course on water accounting, to be held from 25 to 29 July in Delft, the Netherlands. While this course is preliminary meant for M.Sc. students from UNESCO-IHE, there are also several places available for partner institutes that we are working with. The registration opens on May 23 (more information). Principles, the analytical framework and case studies will be discussed. Participants will get also some exposure to the scripts that download geospatial data from internet and convert the data into a coherent information structure on hydrological processes and water management practices. More information can be obtained from Prof. Dr. Wim Bastiaanssen ( and Dr. Elga Salvadore (

Workshop on Ecosystem Services in Relation to Water Resources

Posted on March, 2016

A workshop on the definition of ecosystem services was organized at the IWMI campus in Vientiane on February 29 and March 1st. Ecosystem services are related to water consumption and also to other (non-consumptive) water flows. The workshop was part of the Water-Land-Ecosystems project MK27 that is operated by Delft University of Technology, and in which IWMI and UNESCO-IHE are partners, among others. An updated sheet (#7) has been created, and the challenge is now to develop the data flow that is needed to quantify these services. The updated sheets 7 and 8 can be found on this website.

Water Accounts for Thailand

Posted on March, 2016

Kasetsart University in Bangkok has received a request from the Government of Thailand to prepare the water accounts for all 254 sub-basins in Thailand using the WA methodology. This is a country wide water accounting study, and the first of this kind. A contract was signed with the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) in Laos that will provide technical support to a team of Thai students under supervision of Dr. Nutchanart Sriwongsitanon.

New staff member

Posted on February, 2016

Gonzalo Espinoza has successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis in Texas under supervision of Prof. David Maidment. The title of his thesis was "Large-Scale Statistical Analysis of NLDAS Variables and Hydrologic Web Applications" The WA team welcomes Gonzalo to his new position on preparing the water accounts for the FAO project, with a focus on the Litani, Jordan, Nile, Awash and Niger basin. He will provide specific attention to the development of the sustainability aspects of river basins.

New staff members

Posted on January, 2016

Dr. Elga Salvadore and Mr. Bert Coerver have started with the execution of water accounting projects in India and Vietnam respectively. The Asian Development Bank expects that WA can help to standardize the reporting on water resources conditions. Elga did a Ph.D. in urban hydrology at the Free University of Brussels and has an interest in spatial hydrology. Bert graduated from TU Delft and studied reservoir operations in the Red River. Both Elga and Bert will work closely together with local public agencies for explaining the principles and build local capacity in understanding the potential and limitations of water accounts for planning purpose.

FAO Regional Collaborative Platform in the NENA region

Posted on November, 2015

Dr. Pasquale Steduto from the Near East and North Africa (NENA) region of the FAO organized an important conference on "Water Consumption, Water Productivity and Drought Management in Agriculture” in Cairo during 27 to 29 October (2015). The workshop has been attended by more than 100 participants under the auspice of the Egyptian Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, and considered a land mark meeting bringing together countries and partners in developing relevant and concrete work plan and results for the coming years. The workshop has also received a significant media coverage with more than 60 articles across the region, including 15 in top tier sources.

The presentations can be accessed here.

The group advocated the need to cap the volume of water consumed in agriculture, both green and blue water resources. This is a pre-requisite for achieving sustainable and economically profitable agriculture in arid zones. Investments will stay away if the total water picture is absent.

NASA and the Worldbank organized a joint workshop to evaluate the state-of-art on the mapping of evapotranspiration from remote sensing techniques

Posted on September, 2015

NASA and the Worldbank organized a joint workshop to evaluate the state-of-art on the mapping of evapotranspiration from remote sensing techniques. This was a unique gathering between the suppliers of the raw data, the scientists and the user community. Prof. Dr. Wim Bastiaanssen provided a lecture on the international experiences, and pleaded for a global ensemble ET product. It is clear that water accounting cannot be accomplished without NASA satellites, although ESA together with China have constructive progress on future earth observation missions. First presentations of on-line ET processing on the Earth Engine were provided ( It is interesting to note that this EEFlux algorithm (source: Rick Allen and Ayse Kilic) is based on SEBAL, and that many of the original functions on hot and cold pixel selection are unchanged since 1995. All presentations will come on-line soon. has co-organized a workshop at the 2015 Stockholm water week dealing with crop water productivity

Posted on August, 2015 has co-organized a workshop at the 2015 Stockholm water week dealing with crop water productivity. It was emphasized that although water productivity is formally recognized under SDG goal 6.4, it should under all circumstances be implemented in a sustainable manner. This implies that crop water productivity should be associated with rainfed and irrigation related water consumption, and be balanced with other water users in a river basin context.

For more information visit the Dutch water sector and the UNESCO-IHE websites

The water accounting team welcomes Tim Hessels and Mansoor Delali Kwasi Leh

Posted on August, 2015

The water accounting team welcomes Tim Hessels (M.Sc), who replaces Gert Mulder (M.Sc) as the major hydrological programmer at UNESCO‑IHE. Tim graduated from Delft University of Technology in Water Resources Management and Remote Sensing on a thesis entitled ”Comparison and Validation of Several Open Access Remotely Sensed Rainfall Products for the Nile Basin” during February 2015. Tim will continue to develop Python based tools that are used to collect data from internet and integrate them to generate the various standardized maps, tables and sheet of WA (see section Formulation on this website). With this software, it will become feasible to generate water accounts automatically. IWMI has selected Mansoor Delali Kwasi Leh (Ph.D.) from Ghana / USA to assist the WA team with the quantification of ecosystem services. Mansoor holds a Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas (2001) and he is an experienced SWAT modeller and GIS expert. Welcome to the team Mansoor and Tim!

Prof. Dr. Wim Bastiaanssen member of the Supervisory Council of the Water Footprint Network

Posted on August, 2015

UNESCO‑IHE is a founding member of the Water Footprint Network ( and has a formal representation in their Supervisory Council. With the retirement of Mr. Joop de Schutter, Prof. Dr. Wim Bastiaanssen was asked to take over his seat, which will become effective in September 2015.

SERVIR provides access to key data components for water accounting in Southeast Asia

Posted on July, 2015

SERVIR Mekong is one of four SERVIR hubs currently operating across the developing world. SERVIR connects USAID’s development network in data‑poor environments with NASA’s science, technology and extensive satellite data. It will help governments and other key decision‑makers in Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam take advantage of publicly available satellite imagery, geospatial data and maps to make more informed decisions on issues such as water management, land use planning, disaster risk reduction, infrastructure development and natural resource management (read more).

The University of San Francisco (Dr. David Saah) and University of Colorado (Dr. Austin Troy) have requested UNESCO‑IHE to co‑develop an ”Ecosystem Service Value Baseline”. According to Mark Fenn from the Winrock Vietnam Forest and Delta project, this endeavour will help to assess ”the status of Natural Capital, something similar to GDP” by a push on the button.

Country Water Assessment Vietnam

Posted on June, 2015

The Asian Development Bank has signed a top‑up agreement with UNESCO‑IHE on several activities. One activity relates to the preparation of the water accounts of all 16 major river basins of Vietnam. IWMI‑Laos is a sub‑contractor in this project for providing Asian ownership. The project partners in Vietnam will be NAWAPI and IWRP, and the kick‑off workshop is planned for early August. ADB provides technical assistance to Vietnam on the preparation of the ”Country Water Assessment Vietnam”, and feels that a standard data collection system with a systematic reporting on various relevant water management issues is necessary to raise the plan to a higher level. WA is a suitable tool for that, and Vietnam will be a test case. In the case of positive evaluation, WA could also be considered as an input into the Asian Water Development Outlook, one of the most comprehensive water reviews of all 49 countries in Asia (

More information

Bridging the Information Gap between Scientists and Decision Makers in the Eastern Nile

Posted on June, 2015

Mrs Marlies Barendrecht (M.Sc.) successfully defended her Master Thesis entitled ”Bridging the Information Gap between Scientists and Decision Makers in the Eastern Nile” at Delft University of Technology. She interviewed 35 water professionals in Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia up to Minister level. The major recommendation is that WA should reach out to the scientific advisors of Ministers. The respondents conclude that WA is (i) a useful concept and (ii) that it provides basic understanding of water resources in a river basin. More attention needs, however, to be given to (i) validation, (ii) compilation of short messages that can be understood by policy makers and (iii) preparation of water accounts at country level (rather than at basin level). We congratulate Marlies with her interesting piece of work at the downstream end of water accounting.

New Ph.D. studies related to water accounting and ecosystem services

Posted on April, 2015

Mr. Ha Thanh Lan from the Institute of Water Resources Planning (MARD) and Ms. Na Nguyen from the Department of National Remote Sensing (MONRE) in Vietnam have decided to both embark on a Ph.D. study related to water accounting and ecosystem services (see news March 2015). Mr. Lan will focus on the integration of remote sensing and hydrological models for determining various water regulation related ecosystem services. Ms. Nguyen will concentrate her work on remote sensing and the carbon balance of forests, with an emphasis on carbon sequestration and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. She will study the link between rainfall, soil moisture and carbon pools in forested areas of the Ca basin. Spatial modelling of carbon fluxes could replace the outdated look-up tables between land use and carbon stocks as fixed numbers. These talented young professionals are considered to become the future leaders of water accounting in Vietnam.

Elementary ecosystem services (i.e. sheet 7 of WA )

Posted on March, 2015

As part of the MK27 healthy Red River project, a dedicated workshop was organized by IWMI in Vientiane to discuss elementary ecosystem services that could become a standard component of WA . It was found by the participants that the consumptive use of green and blue water should be related to ecosystem services in general, and not to agricultural services only. This is basically a plea for an expanded view on the water productivity concept. A list of 27 ecosystem service indicators has been formulated that can potentially be quantified by means of remote sensing and hydrological models. This can be considered as the blueprint for the research agenda on water accounting and ecosystem services (see April 2015). A first assessment to describe sustainable river basins has been made, and time series of key (state) variables will form the basis to quantify resilience, vulnerability and reliability processes. This sustainability related information should form the basis of WA sheet 8.

Lectures on water accounting processes as part of the regular M.Sc. teaching programme at UNESCO‑IHE

Posted on February, 2015

Professor Yasir Mohamed from UNESCO-IHE is organizing a training module on water accounting in the Blue Nile basin as part of the routine water management course in Delft. Interested students can attend his classes.

At the same time, Prof. Dr. Wim Bastiaanssen provided a short training course on the role of thermal infrared radiation in the detection of key water accounting processes at the Winrock office in Hanoi.

Ca river basin, Vietnam

Posted on January, 2015

The USAID funded Vietnam Forest and Delta project under execution by Winrock International ( has contracted UNESCO-IHE to assist them with the analysis of the water accounts for the Ca river basin in Vietnam. Winrock works closely together with the local water resources planning and policy institutes in Vietnam, and this is a great opportunity to test the recipient responses to the availability of WA data. Does the availability of WA really affect their strategic planning? The contract includes also on the spot training of water accounting and the underlying remote sensing techniques.

More information

FAO WA study of the Helmand basin, Afghanistan

Posted on December, 2014

The FAO division for Land and Water has executed a WA study in the Helmand basin, Afghanistan. The work has been mainly executed by Livia Peiser and Jippe Hoogeveen from FAO based out of Rome.

Both experts were involved earlier in the water accounting studies of Okavango and Awash basins. Wim Bastiaanssen provided limited back up support. The study is a confirmation that earth observation data is a proper methodology for basins and countries where data is scant and field measurement programs and visits are difficult to organize. The final report is available on this website.

Project MK27 in Red River, Vietnam

Posted on November, 2014

WLE granted a project to a consortium of IWMI and UNESCO‑IHE that is lead by Dr. Martine Rutten from TU Delft ( related to the water accounts of the Day basin, a sub‑basin being located in the Delta of the Red River (Vietnam). The main emphasis of the project ‑ referred to as MK27 ‑ is to define a set of quantifiable ecosystem services that can contribute to create healthy rivers.

More information

Mekong basin

Posted on October, 2014

Maarten van Eekelen (M.Sc) has been transferred from the WA team in Delft to Vientiane (Laos). Maarten is under contract of IWMI and has started the diagnosis of the water accounts of the Mekong basin. The remote sensing data makes it feasible to also include the Chinese part in the upstream end of the Mekong basin. The first results will soon be uploaded on this website.

Arab Water Council

Posted on October, 2014

The Arab Water Council jointly with related NGO’s such as the Center for Environment and Development for the Arab Region and Europe (CEDARE) expressed interests to set up a system for water accounting that is based on earth observations. The Water Accounting team has attended two international workshops for outlining the major principles of WA.

Meeting at the FAO Headquarters in Rome

Posted on September, 2014

The members of (i.e. IWMI, UNESCO-IHE and FAO) formally met at the FAO Headquarters in Rome. The development of the activities since the start in 2013 has been discussed within the group. All members are satisfied, albeit it was indicated that more exchanges of technologies and budgets are desirable. There is no need to create a special foundation at this stage. Being lean and efficient is the motto. An Advisory Board should be developed, with ambassadors of the WA approach that can spur the dissemination process. A list of actions has been defined.

Formal agreements signed

Posted on July, 2014

UNESCO‑IHE and IWMI has signed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding joint collaborative research on water accounting and other water management related issues. The Director General IWMI Jeremy Bird visited Delft in March and signed the agreement with Rector IHE Andras Szöllösi‑Nagy. During June, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN (FAO) has also signed a similar Memorandum of Understanding with UNESCO‑IHE to foster exchanges on water accounting, water productivity and capacity building in general. Also IWMI and FAO have an agreement in place, which paves the way for a formal international tri‑party program on water accounting.

Staff expansion

Posted on June, 2014

Gert Mulder has been assigned as hydrological programmer and groundwater hydrologist to the water accounting platform through a UNESCO‒IHE contract as per June 1st. Gert recently graduated from Delft University of Technology on a thesis entitled ”Observing groundwater depletion in Northern Iraq from space; A comparative study between catchment hydrology and the GRACE satellite mission”. Gert will work on river basins in East Africa and Asia that receive financial support from DGIS for improving water management.

FAO has made Livia Peiser available for 50% of her time to work on the water accounts of the Helmand basin in Afghanistan. Livia will operate from Rome together with her FAO colleague Jippe Hoogeveen. The same WA procedures will be applied and a standard WA reporting will be worked out.

Prof. Dr. Wim Bastiaanssen has been appointed as the Special Chair of Global Water Accounting at UNESCO-IHE

Posted on April, 2014

The Institute took the initiative to establish the Special Chair of Global Water Accounting, in close collaboration with the International Water Management Institute and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

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Maarten van Eekelen, new member of the Water Accounting team

Posted on April, 2014

Maarten van Eekelen will join the water accounting team starting April 1st. Maarten is a consultant to IWMI and he will be based in their Laos office. Maarten is a graduate from Delft University of Technology and did a Master thesis related to the computation of water withdrawals by irrigated crops, plantations, forests and wetlands in the transboundary Incomati basin. Maarten will work on the water accounts for the Water‑Land‑Ecosystems (WLE) program.

Ph.D. thesis: Water Accounting Plus for Water Resources Reporting and River Basin Planning

Posted on March, 2014

Poolad Karimi defended his Ph.D. thesis successfully on Friday March 28. The water accounting team congratulates him with this great achievement. His complete thesis is now accessible through the publications section of our website.