Forecasting impacts of high turbidity and algal blooms on drinking water supply

One essential aspect of water supply services is the availability and treatment of raw water resources. Achieving the required quality for safe consumption requires many processing steps that vary according to the initial characteristics of the resource.

In the European Union about 70.000 utilities are involved in supply services. Many rely on surface water, like lakes and reservoirs, which are increasingly affected by droughts, flooding, pollution, and population growth. The environmental and economic impacts of these pressures have often been underestimated. Water quality can show great fluctuation and requires timely response in the treatment process. More sustainable and efficient use of energy and chemicals in water treatment is an ongoing challenge, together with intensifying water resources protection and management.

SPACE-O (Space Assisted Water Quality Forecasting Platform for Optimized Decision Making in Water Supply Services) integrates state-of-the-art satellite technology and in-situ monitoring with advanced hydrological, water quality models and ICT tools, into a powerful decision support system.

On April 19th SPACE-O held a workshop in Brussels on the application and economic viability of a decision support system to help utilities dealing with algal blooms or turbidity issues. European utilities shared experiences and test project tools that integrate satellite technology and advanced modelling to generate real-time, short- to medium-term forecasting of water quality. Full summary of this event can be found in our website. A second workshop with Asian utilities will take place at the Singapore International Water Week on July 10th.

Timely information about parameters like turbidity and algal blooms can help managers adjust their operations and take early measures to safeguard water quality, improving overall efficiency and reduce or mitigate environmental impacts.

Please find more information about the project, case studies and upcoming events on

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement No. 689239