Improving water quality is one of the major societal challenges worldwide and consequently a key issue in the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (especially Sustainability Goal 6 ‘Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all’). Strategies and measures to reach this goal require coherent determination, analysis and visualization of water quality from regional to global scales. The GlobeWQ project will deliver a prototype for such an analysis and service platform.


The main goals of GlobeWQ are thus:

  • to develop, test and – in exemplary ways – apply an integrated and cross-scale analysis and evaluation methodology for water quality of surface and groundwaters;
  • to provide novel data synthesis of in-situ measured, modelled and remote sensing based information;
  • to identify existing and developing threats to water security with focus on water quality.


GlobeWQ is embedded in the World Water Quality Alliance led by the UN Environment Programme with the challenging task to compile a World Water Quality Assessment by 2023 on current and future freshwater quality. The GlobeWQ project is a direct continuation of the pre-study that resulted in a snapshot of world's water quality  and a roadmap for a worldwide assessment. The GlobeWQ project is associated to the BMBF funding measure Water as a Global Resource (GRoW).




The GlobeWQ Platform integrates data from in-situ measured, remote sensing based and water quality models to inform about water quality hotspots, trends as well as the underlying drivers.


Evolving platform capabilities

We are currently developing and testing the platform by ingesting data and establishing the data interfaces to our partners and data providers. The first prototype is focused on the Lake Victoria and its tributaries. The platform currently provides access to in-situ data from the Global Freshwater Quality Database GEMStat, total modelled phosphorus loadings to the tributaries of Lake Victoria and satellite-derived water quality data. Starting in 2020, medium resolution satellite-derived water quality data (Sentinel-3) is available for the entire Lake Victoria area.


Explore the Lake Victoria portal prototype


Soon, further capabilities will be implemented and the spatial coverage will be expanded. For example, in the next phase enhanced capabilities for visualizing state and trends of water quality will be implemented.



Under this category we will regularly provide in-depth insights into water quality analysis and use cases of underlying triangulation approach of GlobeWQ.

...coming soon


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Pilot Project to create a 'Global Water Quality Analysis and Service Platform' –

GlobeWQ   Pilotprojekt Analyse- und Service-Plattform Globale Wasserqualität

The GlobeWQ project is financed by the BMBF funding measure Water as a Global Resource (GRoW) supervised by Projektträger Karlsruhe (PTKA), Division for Water Technology.





Project number: 02WGR1527A

Duration: 01.10.2019 – 30.09.2022



Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Magdeburg & Leipzig

Lead: Prof. Dr. Dietrich Borchardt

Contact: Dr. Ilona Bärlund

Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB)

Contact: Prof. Dr. Martina Flörke

EOMAP GmbH & Co. KG, Seefeld

Contact: Dr. Thomas Heege

Terrestris GmbH & Co. KG, Bonn

Contact: Hinrich Paulsen


Strategic Partners:

UN Environment Programme (UNEP)

Contact: Dr. Hartwig Kremer

German Environment Agency (UBA)

Contact: Dr. Lilian Busse

European Environment Agency (EEA)

Dr. Stéphane Isoard

International Centre for Water Resources and Global Change (UNESCO)

Contact: Dr. Philipp Saile


Program supervision on behalf of BMBF provided by Project Management Agency Karlsruhe (PTKA)