In 2015 Bulgaria became the tenth ESA European Cooperating State. Under the Plan for European Cooperating States is started the project EO Monitoring for better water management & flood prevention in Bulgaria (EMOWAF) in 2016 under contract 4000118048/16/NL/NDe between RSICS and ESA trough its establishment the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC).

As a member of the European Association Sensing Companies (EARSC) the project EMOWAF establishes EO based water quality services to support Bulgarian water authorities responsible for water quality in lakes to develop and implement Water Frame Directive (WFD) of EU.

The innovative Sentinel-2 and 3 missions will expand the possibilities by providing free imagery with high spectral and spatial resolution suitable for crop state monitoring at field level.

EMOWAF also develops new downstream service‐line created on Web‐based geo‐information system for provision of Earth Observation data (satellite and airborne), integrated with in‐situ data for water quality monitoring as additional tools to the National System for Environmental Monitoring – Water Monitoring Subsystem (NSEM ‐ WMSs) of Bulgaria.

One of the main goals of the project EMOWAF and a contribution will be to test and validate existing algorithms with real S2/S3 data for two pilot cases – the inland Dam Lake Iskar and the coastal Varna lake. This assessment and estimation will be done, focusing to the potential business application on existing software packages with big data, generated from Sentinel constellation.

Main objectives of the project are development of additional airborne hyperspectral data-mining (AHySpD) of the test areas/lakes and to make comparison with S2/S3 data and adaptation of water quality algorithms to S2/S3-OLCI and AHySpD data for the selected areas of interest.

Research and analysis of biophysical water parameters (TUR, TSM, SD, CHL, CDM, SOA), derived in accordance with the given methodology and available satellite data (S2/S3, HR, VHR, airborne).

Research and analysis of additional physicochemical elements (organic/nonorganic) and specific pollutants. Validation of the Earth Observation (EO) based results.

Ingesting large quantities of satellite observation data and processing into higher level products and developing data-mining and other tools to work with the data.

EO based water quality measures and their units shall be harmonized and made globally comparable. Their definition shall be based on physically generalised properties, in order to be independent on single restrictive algorithms.