HRH Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange
“No Water, No Future!”
HRH Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange

The department of Water Resources (WRS) is a multidisciplinary scientific department specialising in scientific research and education in earth observation and geo-information sciences for the understanding, monitoring, predicting and sustainable use and management of water resources.


Security of water resources has emerged as one of the key problems in the 21st century. Floods, droughts, water scarcity, water usage, water quality, water and ecosystem interactions, water and climate interactions are all issues of direct importance to our human society. The key to safeguard the security of water resources is better water resources management. This requires in turn better understanding the water cycle, water climate interactions and water ecosystem interactions. Current international initiatives, such as Integrated Global Observing Strategy – Partnership, the Integrated Global Water Cycle Observations  (IGOS-P IGWCO) theme, the Water Cycle Research Agenda undertaken by World Climate Research Programme, GEWEX – Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment (WCRP GEWEX), and the Water Targets in the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) 10-Year Implementation Plan adopted at the third Earth Observation Summit in Brussels in February 2005, have placed Earth Observation of Water Cycle as the key in helping to solve the world's water problems. The availability of spatial information on water quantity and quality will also enable closure of the water budget on river basin and continental scales to the point where effective water management is possible, e.g. as requested by the EU water framework directive (WFD) as well as national policies (e.g. Water beleid voor de 21e eeuw (WB21)). Geo-information science and earth observation will be vital in achieving a better understanding of the water cycle and better monitoring, assessment, prediction and management of the world's water resources. 

Develop and Transfer Knowledge in Geo-information Science and Earth Observation for Water Resources Management and Hydrology. 

This mission of the department of Water Resources is realised by providing higher academic education (at PhD, MSc degree level) and professional training (short courses) as well as executing fundamental and applied research in earth observation of water resources and related environmental issues. Furthermore, worldwide advisory project services constitute a part of our work.