22. März 2024

Navigating the flow: CSEM’s impact on World Water Day, 2024

(Dieser Artikel ist nur auf Englisch verfügbar)
World Water Day, celebrated on March 22, highlights the importance of water for our well-being, food supply, energy, security, and the environment. With the challenges posed by climate change and human activities, it’s crucial to manage our water resources responsibly. CSEM contributes to this effort through its role in the ESA-NASA Next Generation Gravity Mission, and by advancing global water monitoring and analysis for various projects with its technologies, ensuring that we help protect this precious resource for future generations.

Close up of a hand cupping water
World Water Day, held on 22 March every year since 1993, is an annual United Nations Observance focusing on the importance freshwater.  

In 2023, the hottest year ever, climate change severely affected Switzerland’s water resources. Its glaciers melted 10% in one year, the same as in 30 years before, threatening its water, scenery, and safety. Its lakes, including Lake Geneva, are warming at an alarming rate, affecting water quality, and biodiversity, as well as the tourism and fishing industries that depend on them. 

A holistic approach to water management is needed

To address the water crisis, Switzerland and other regions affected by climate change need to monitor and manage their water resources effectively. This requires a holistic approach that considers the water cycle not only as separate and isolated components, but also as a global whole. Recognizing water as a shared resource that transcends national borders and promotes harmony among countries and communities. By monitoring changes in water quantity, quality, and the environmental and societal impacts, we gain valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities of water management in our changing climate.

CSEM joins ESA and NASA in monitoring Earth’s water cycle 

CSEM is proud to announce its participation in the Next Generation Gravity Mission (NGGM), a candidate Mission of Opportunity for ESA-NASA cooperation. The NGGM mission will measure the variations of the Earth’s gravitational field. These variations are influenced by the amount and distribution of water on the surface and underground. The NGGM will measure the effect of climate change on Earth's water resources, and this information will support the Mass-Change and Geosciences International Constellation (MAGIC), a joint venture between ESA and NASA. 

CSEM will apply its extensive experience in the design and state-of-the-art measurement of high-performance laser systems for the NGGM, which is the key component of the mission. “For more than two decades, we have been creating and improving laser systems for different space missions. Some of our ongoing projects include providing metrology for the LISA mission, as well as lidar for the REMOVEdebris project. We are thrilled once more to see that our expertise is set to influence the NGGM mission. This is another chance for us to show the world what we can do with lasers and to further cement CSEM’s presence in the space industry,” says Fabien Droz, Deputy BU Leader at CSEM. 

CSEM’s long-standing commitment to water management and monitoring

CSEM’s long-standing commitment to water management in Earth’s water cycle with ESA and NASA is not the only way the company contributes to better environmental future. We have been involved in multiple monitoring and analysis projects over the years, applying our expertise in sensors, microsystems, and data analysis, AI, and more. Here are some examples of how CSEM has helped to measure and manage water resources in different context alongside its partners:

Why is world water day celebrated?

World Water Day, held on 22 March every year since 1993, is an annual United Nations (UN) Observance focusing on the importance of freshwater. The World Water Day campaign celebrates water and raises awareness of the 2.2 billion people living without access to safe water. It is about taking action to tackle the global water crisis. A core focus of World Water Day is to support the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030. Every year, UN-Water — the UN’s coordination mechanism on water and sanitation — sets the theme for World Water Day. In 2024, the theme is leveraging water for peace.