Participatory multi-Level EO-assisted tools
for Irrigation water management
and Agricultural Decision-Support

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Anna OSANN Ph.D.

Anna OSANN, Ph.D.

Anna.Osann[AT], Anna.Osann[AT]

Honorary Research Fellow, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha
Managing Director, ALFAclima Asesoramiento Medioambiental


My current focus

The science-society-policy interface in the field of water resources management.

The synergy between new technologies (Earth Observation, Geographical Information systems, Information and Communication Technology) and participatory processes for adaptive management of natural resources.

The integration of the development of new tools for water management in the social, cultural, historical, economic, environmental, and political context of their intended destination.


My vision

New technology, if properly used, can serve as an incentive and catalyst to facilitate the step from the "hydraulic mission" to effective water governance and contribute to achieve the necessary paradigm shift in water resources management. This in turn will enhance the adaptive capacities of people needed to cope with global changes.


My background

I have been migrating through disciplines in order to establish strong foundations in interdisciplinary work (starting with modeling and observations in climate and biosphere-atmosphere interaction, which is interdisciplinary by itself; moving on to remote sensing of land-surface processes; and finally applying the expertise to practical water resources management; recently incorporating essential methods of political and social sciences).

All along the way, I have been doing research myself as a Principle Investigator, as well as coordinating international efforts (Europe and the Americas, recently also the non-European Mediterranean).

I was a Division Head and Facility Manager at DLR (German Aerospace Centre) for 10 years, before founding and directing my own consultancy company (in Albacete, Spain) while at the same time being associated with the University of Castilla-La Mancha (Spain) as Honorary Research Fellow.

I have a multicultural background and extensive experience in working closely with users and other stakeholders.



World Water Council (representative of Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha)

Global Water Partnership (representative of Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha)

International Water Association

International Water Resources Association

International Association of Hydrogeologists & Spanish Association of Hydrogeologists

Asociación Española de Riego y Drenaje (Spanish Association of Irrigation and Drainage)


Research and application interests

Land and water resources management; synergy between technology and participation.

Multi-stakeholder processes.

IWRM and beyond (adaptive management; transition management).

Irrigation Advisory Services, Farm Advisory Services.

Gender and water.

Global change and adaptation strategies.

Earth observation applications.

Observing systems (GMES; Global Change and climate; land and water resources).

Research facilities and infrastructure - aircraft and ground-based systems.

Land-surface processes - observations, modelling, and parameterization.

Interaction atmosphere-biosphere.

Hydrological cycle.

Validation of numerical weather prediction and climate models.

Validation of algorithms to derive biophysical parameters from remote sensing.


Professional experience

Coordinator and co-coordinator of EU-co-funded research and development projects on the improvement of water use efficiency in agriculture, focusing in particular on the synergy between new technologies and participatory approaches (DEMETER , PLEIADeS ).

Long-standing work with users and other stakeholders in the field of water resources management, in particular irrigation, in multi-sectorial, interdisciplinary, multi-cultural teams, encompassing the whole chain from research to sustainable implementation.

PI in many international land-surface experiments; PI in EC-funded series of projects on the use of remote sensing data to monitor desertification in the Mediterranean (EFEDA, RESMEDES, RESYSMED).

PI on European and NASA aircraft missions and co-ordinator of international multi-aircraft campaigns.

Member of Steering Groups of several international field experiments. Initial coordinator of Remote Sensing and Training and Education Components of the Large-Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia (LBA).

Member and BAHC-representative of the former WCRP-IGBP Joint Working Group on Land-Surface Experiments.

Member of ESA-study team LUCIA-LISSE (Land-Use Change and Irrigation Administration -Land Irrigation Support Service).

Scientific research in the area of environment and climate, in particular on biosphere-atmosphere interaction and land-surface processes.

Local and regional validation of gridded datasets generated from Earth observation and numerical modelling (e.g., NVAP, ECMWF analysis and forecast, reanalysis model).

Implementation of specialized instrumentation in research aircraft and their use in field experiments.

Experience in working with users during 10 years of managing facility (primary mission of my former division).

Numerous publications in conferences, books, and scientific journals.

Co-direction of M.Sc. and Ph.D. theses.

Convener and co-convener of scientific conferences and workshops, among them the series of interdisciplinary Symposia on "Atmospheric, hydrological, and biological processes at the land surface" (1988-1994) in the context of the European Geophysical Society (now: European Geophysical Union).

Fund-raising (from public and commercial sources) for research and application projects.

Reviewer and Guest Editor for various scientific journals.

Expert evaluator and reviewer for the European Commission, NASA, several national Science Foundations, and other inter/national organizations.


RTD project co-financed by the European Communities (Contract GOCE 037095)
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