Monitoring the water cycle from satellite observations is one of the major goals of the Earth Observation (EO) community. In fact, closing the water budget has been a long-standing objective of international programs such as the Global Energy and Water Exchange (GEWEX) project. After many years of hard work, calibrating the satellite data, improving inversion techniques, and facilitating the coherency of the satellite retrievals, it is admitted that the water cycle budget can now be closed when using the best satellite datasets. However, this closure is attained at the global scale only, but we are far from closing it at regional and seasonal scales. Closing the budget at a global scale was a necessary condition, but this is far from being enough. The EO data are designed to monitor the spatial and temporal distribution of the water components, not to provide global and yearly mean numbers. The project objectives are to: 

  1. Improve the water budget at a regional level from EO data
  2. Study the usability of EO data for scientific challenges related to the Mediterranean (drought forecasting, flash floods, improved run-off, sea circulation modelling)  
  3. Support the HYdrological cycle in the Mediterranean Experiment (HYMEX)  to better monitor the water cycle in the Mediterranean region.


ESA-ESRIN Support to Science Element

Project duration

September 2015 – August 2017


University of Balearic Islands (UBI)
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Istituto di Ricerca per la Protezione Idrogeologica (CNR-IRPI)
Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique du Centre National de la Récherche (LMD-CNRS)


EO dataset collection and benchmarking
Assessing impact of Atlantic on Mediterranean hydrology

CLIMERS staff involved

Wouter Dorigo
Angelika Xaver