Several million cases of water-associated disease are reported globally each year from water-borne or vector-borne pathogens. A large number of cases may be avoided through improved access to clean water and sanitation, and more cases could be prevented by improving prediction of disease outbreaks and health risks, using an integrated approach involving in-situ observations, laboratory experiments, remote sensing and modelling.

We are proposing a new GEO Blue Planet Working Group to identify benefits, best practices and feasibility of incorporating Earth observation measurements into early-warning systems for water-associated diseases. It will provide a forum to exchange useful information, share data and coordinate activities where feasible, to maximise benefits to society.

The WG aims to engage with specialists in the fields of ecology, epidemiology, bioinformatics, genetics, remote-sensing, modelling, climate, limnology and oceanography, and link with end-users, including local communities, governments, health services, intergovernmental organisations, and policy makers.

This initiative has been recognised as an important GEO Blue Planet activity under Theme 2 ‘Healthy Ecosystems and Food Security’ and with societal relevance to public health, food security, water management, biodiversity and ecosystem sustainability, and disaster resilience. The WG activities are further adding value to GEO health community of practice and AquaWatch initiatives.

2018 Working Group Scoping Meeting

A Working Group Scoping meeting was held in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, UK, on 30 and 31 August 2018.

If you are interested in participating in the WG activities please contact Marie-Fanny Racault (mfrt(at)

Scoping Meeting Agenda

Session 1: Opening and stage setting

  • Opening Remarks (Marie-Fanny Racault, PML, UK)
  • Participant introductions (All participants)

Session 2: Modelling

  • Shovonal Roy (Reading University, UK)
  • Yosuke Yamashiki (GSAIS, Japan)

Session 3: Microbiology

  • Inés Maria Trucco (INIDEP, Argentina)
  • Anas Abdulaziz (NIO, India)
  • Rita Colwell (University of Maryland, USA)

Session 4: Earth Observations

  • Shubha Sathyendranath (PML, UK)
  • Milton Kampel (INEP, Brazil)
  • Antar Jutla (West Virginia University, USA)

Session 5: Scoping Meeting outcomes and further opportunities

  • Gap analysis / Opportunities
  • POGO contractual agreement and meeting outcomes

Session 6: Working Group roadmap of activities Day 1

  • WG long-term objectives & work plan
  • List of recommendations and actions

Session 7: Climate

  • Tak Ikeda (JAMSTEC, Japan)
  • Caradee Wright (SAMRC, South Africa)
  • Craig Baker-Austin (Cefas, UK)

Session 8: User engagement and Policy

  • Nandini Menon (NERCI, India)

Session 9: Genomics, bioinformatics and epidemiology

  • Nick Thomson (WSI & LSHTD, UK)
  • Mike Allen/ Susan Kimmance (PML, UK)
  • Marie-Fanny Racault (PML, UK)
  • Trevor Platt/ Libbie Goult (PML, UK)

Session 10: Working Group roadmap of activities Day 2

  • WG long-term objectives & work plan
  • List of recommendations and actions

Session 11: Working Group Terms of Reference

  • WG Terms of reference

Session 12: Closing

  • Closing Remarks
Workshop attendees can access presentations from the event here, using the password supplied by the organisers.