HYPOS Newsletter – Issue 2, November 2022

Launching HYPOS

HYPOS on stage

Awards, articles, webinars – The HYdro-POwer-Suite (HYPOS) has been launched successfully. Here is a short update on all the news.

The new portal advances the management of water resources and – in particular – sediment management. It transforms satellite-based water quality and sediment related parameters into business relevant tools for the hydropower industry, enabling effective environmental and economic investment planning. The online tool for the hydropower industry combines Earth Observation (EO) technologies with hydrologic modelling, and can be complemented by local on-site information.

Ilias Pechlivanidis (SMHI; 4th from the right) accepts the EARSC award on behalf of the HYPOS consortium in Brussels.

In June 2022, the HYPOS consortium was among the winners of the EARSC 2022 Partnership Award, recognizing outstanding collaboration for Earth observation user-uptake and value creation from innovation to market!

In April 2022 followed the successful launch of the HYPOS Portal during the HYDRO 2022 Conference and Exhibition in Strasbourg, France. The annual HYDRO Conference and Exhibition series brings industry professionals together and is one of the key business shows for hydropower in Europe.

A. Bartosova, Th. Heege and D. Kelleher at Hydro Conference 22

Panellists at the HYDRO 22 Alena Bartosova (SMHI), Thomas Heege (EOMAP) and Declan Kelleher (Gruner Stucky)

The consortium members at the HYPOS booth.

New features for HYPOS

The HYPOS tool is an easy-to-use, web-based subscription portal. It provides streamlined and cost-efficient access to key hydrological parameters and sediment data for rivers and reservoirs worldwide. Available products include:

  • Satellite-based measurements for historic time periods and actual continuous monitoring;
  • Up-to-date hydrological information from global and tailored modelling;
  • Integrated tools for conducting baseline and environmental impact assessments

 The HYPOS portal is now online, available under User will get a holistic view on the catchment, the river systems and the reservoir of their interest. The main features of the portal are the visualisation of data from different sources (satellite, in-situ and model data), their integration, and tools to analyse them. The analysis feature contains tools to extract sediment fluxes at any given point in the river system, as well as a tool to calculate the Blue Water Footprint (BWF; “lost water” of a reservoir: evaporated water per power production).

Read more about the new features and use cases below.

Feature "Visualisation"

Figure 1: Visualize your data with map views and time series plots

Get a first glance at the data – from your own in-situ data to hydrological parameters from models to spatial grid data from the satellites (Figure 1). Aggregate the satellite data for polygons defined by you to get deeper insights. Plot time series of all data together to better understand your catchment. Transect plots for different dates reveal the changes within a reservoir or along a river.

Feature "Alert Dashboard"

The HYPOS portal can notify you if certain thresholds are exceeded. Once you define thresholds for each parameter (e.g. turbidity), the system displays the exceedances in a dashboard with all your virtual stations (polygons defined by the user). This allows you to see which parts of the catchment are currently above the limits and how often they have been in the past. By selecting one station/polygon, you will be able to analyse the data even deeper with time series plots and two synchronized maps. The system will also automatically notify you via e-mail when thresholds are exceeded in near-real-time (NRT, usually within less than 24 h).

Feature "Sediment Calculations"

The data provided in the portal allows you to calculate sediment fluxes at any point in the river. Sediment fluxes are the product of discharge and sediment concentrations (SSC). The discharge can either come from in-situ measurements, if available, or from the global or locally customized hydrological models developed using Hydrological Predictions for the Environment (HYPE) in daily resolution. The sediment concentrations can be provided by the satellite measurements of turbidity (TUR) with a transfer function. This transfer from TUR to SSC can be done with a global formula or with a localised function if field measurements of SSC are available for calibration.

Figure 2: Schematic setup of sediment flux calculation within the HYPOS tool.

Since the SSC from satellites is usually not available every single day, the SSC can also be estimated from the continuous discharge measurements with a power regression. HYPE model provides daily estimates of SSC as well as sediment fluxes at selected points. With this approach it is possible to retrieve sediment fluxes for long time periods. A typical setting with some (short term) SSC data measured with an in-situ station is sketched in Figure 2. The first step is to calibrate the satellite derived turbidity values with in-situ SSC values to retrieve a correlation that can later be applied anywhere in the river (upstream section on the right). The combination of SSC from satellites and discharge from the model can be used to retrieve sediment fluxes at the inflow and the outflow of the reservoir (orange arrows). This finally allows to estimate the sediments that are held back in the reservoir.

Feature "Blue Water Footprint (BWF)"

The Blue Water Footprint (BWF) is an indicator that builds on the ratio between evaporated water from the reservoir and the power production in the HPP. It is thus a measure of the water “lost” by the reservoir. The BWF is influenced by the climatic conditions and the reservoir surface area of the respective site (evaporation) and the power generated in the power plant. The evaporation can be calculated from satellites to build a monthly mean evaporation value. This is then divided by the monthly power production to retrieve a monthly BWF. The water lost due to evaporation impacts the productivity of the power plant, as well as downstream water availability for other purposes (irrigation, drinking water, ecological impacts).

Two Use Cases
Use case 1: Banja, Albania - sediment flux calculation and BWF

The sediment flux approach described above was applied in the Devoll river and compared to a sediment flux calculated from both in-situ discharge and SSC. The results showed an overestimation of 23 % by the HYPOS approach over a 3-year period. While the HYPOS approach delivers data for every day of the year, the in-situ station only provided data for 62 % of the days. The costs for the HYPOS solution were around 10 % of the costs for the in-situ stations’ setup and maintenance.

These are the key results from the Banja use case:

  • Robust estimate of sediment flux
  • Constant data throughout the year
  • More information at a fraction of in-situ costs
  • of flushing events with a high spatial coverage.
Use case 2: Rhône – Monitoring of flushing operations

The Rhône flows out of Lake Geneva and runs through a cascade of hydropower plants in both Switzerland and France. Flushing operations are challenging and need proper planning to ensure a propagation of the sediment flow through all dams. Additionally, strict thresholds for SSC need to be maintained to avoid environmental impacts like fish kills. The satellites enable a total surveillance of the river during flushing operations, including all side arms and ponds (see Figure 3). Along the Rhône, the propagation of sediment-laden waters can be observed in near-real-time.

The key result from the Rhône use case:

  • Daily data can provide valuable additional data for the monitoring of flushing events
  • with a high spatial coverage.

HYPOS within the SMHI water service line

Water modelling services that include water quality in the production chain are almost non-existent, making the HYPOS Portal a cutting-edge solution for reservoir managers. The core service for a modern production of water information can be displayed as a production chain, and divided into several nested loops containing the major components necessary for the production.

The process is driven by user dialogues, which inform and guide model development through to their operational production. Underlying the water services are data coming from various sources, such as hydro-meteorological and landscape feature data, their confidentiality (open data), and their temporal availability (e.g. near-real time, historical).

Figure 4: Workflow for water-information production in a core service.

Within HYPOS, Earth observation (EO) data are being adopted into the HYPE hydrological modelling chain to improve monitoring and predictions. EO products provide not only spatiotemporal information on water quality but also on important hydrological processes (e.g. evapotranspiration or snow cover). These products are valuable within modelling for supporting a priori parameter estimation, dynamic forcing, model setup/development, model evaluation and data assimilation.

Using the global-scale World Wide HYPE (WWH) model, local-scale hydrological models have been customised for each of the four case studies, prioritising user needs by: (i) incorporating important local hydrological features not present in the global model (e.g. smaller reservoirs or tributaries), (ii) refining catchment boundaries so users can access information at all important locations, and (iii) including local hydrological processes that affect the water cycle (e.g., karstic areas; water transfers). For tailoring the existing WWH setups for case studies, a workflow has been developed (Figure 5). The iterative steps in the workflow have been further condensed into a set of Key Performance Indicators, allowing customers to monitor the modelling process.

Figure 5: General approach to customizing WWH to local requirements in HYPOS.

HYPOS Outreach
HYPOS Webinars

HYPOS partners shared the science behind the portal in two webinars leading up to the Technical Launch in April. Links to the videos can be found below:

In the media
Conferences and Papers

The following conference contributions have been triggered and co-funded by HYPOS:

  • The XIth Scientific Assembly of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS) 2022 (29 May-3 June): Assessing robustness of large-scale hydrological and sediment modeling using nested domains under current and changing climate by Alena Bartosova et .
  • ASITA (Federation of Scientific Associations for Territorial and Environmental Information) Conference 2022 (Genova, 20-24th June): Integration of EO derived data in a decision support tool for hydropower managers by Erica Matta et al.
  • Online HYPE Conference 2021: (27 May): Reservoir sedimentation in HYPE by Conrad Brendal et al.
  • ESA Living Planet Symposium (23-27 May 2022): Application of an EO-based model for the study of evaporation from water bodies by Erica Matta et al.
  • HYDRO 2022 (25-27 April): Advancing large scale hydrological and sediment modeling for hydropower industry operations by Alena Bartosova et al.
  • The 24th International Congress on Modelling and Simulation (MODSIM) 2021 (5-9 December): Assessing uncertainty in large-scale hydrological and sediment modelling using nested domains under current and changing climate by Alena Bartosova et al.
  • The 24th International Congress on Modelling and Simulation (MODSIM) 2021 (5-9 December): Relative importance of hydrology optimization targets and sediment routine combinations towards calibration of a global sediment model by Conrad Brendel et al.
  • AIOL (Associazione Italiana di Oceanologia e Limnologia) Congress 2021 (30 June-2 July): Role of spatial variability, data availability and operative application in the production of lake evaporation maps. A combined remote sensing and numerical modelling study by Erica Matta et al.
Try HYPOS for your project

For any further questions, please get in touch via Email: contact(at)

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EARSC Partnership Award

And the winner is… – the HYPOS Consortium.

EARSC – the European Association of Remote Sensing Companies – has honoured our project work with the “Partnership Award”. Ilias Pechlivanidis from SMHI attended the ceremony in the beautiful setting of the Brussels BELvue museum on June, 14th, 2022.

Every year, EARSC recognizes companies’ performance, partnerships and outstanding products for their exemplary contribution to the European Earth Observation ecosystem. The awards are judged by renowned international experts.

We feel honoured by this award and would like to thank every single member of the project team!


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Article in “Remote Sensing”

In May 2022, our Italian consortium partners from the Institute for Electromagnetic Sensing of the Environment (IREA) of CNR published an article in the journal “Remote Sensing”.

Their study provides for the first time, to the best knowledge of the authors, instantaneous and daily evaporation estimates for Lake Garda, Italy.

Access the full article titled “A Satellite-Based Tool for Mapping Evaporation in Inland Water Bodies: Formulation, Application, and Operational Aspects” in “Remote Sensing” here.

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A. Bartosova, Th. Heege and D. Kelleher at Hydro Conference 22
HYPOS launch at HYDRO ’22

The HYPOS portal has been launched at HYDRO ’22 – one of the most important hydropower business shows in Europe.

Two presentations were held at the Conference, and we had a launch event at our booth.
To attract further attention for Earth Observation for hydropower, we had a model of Planet’s SuperDove satellite at our booth.

Read more about the launch at HYDRO in Strasbourg here.

Alena Bartosovà (SMHI, Thomas Heege (EOMAP) and Declan Kelleher (Gruner - Stucky) - at the Hydro Conference 2022

Alena Bartosovà (SMHI, Thomas Heege (EOMAP) and Declan Kelleher (Gruner – Stucky) presenting the HYPOS portal at the HYDRO ’22 Conference in Strasbourg.

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Invitation to HYPOS Webinar #2 - picture: Moiry Dam - c/ P. de Goumoens
Webinar #2 – Benefits and Validation

Following a first preview in December 2021, we dive deeper into the HYPOS portal. On March, 31st 2022, the topic of Webinar #2 is “Diving Deeper: Validating data and exploring the benefits.”

Above all, we’ll tackle the following questions:

  • How accurate are satellite-derived water quality data?
  • How do they benefit hydropower managers thriving for smart monitoring?
  • And what can dam designers expect from the toolbox for their sediment calculation plans?
  • Again we’ll be happy to answer any questions in a Q&A session.


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Hypos Project
Article in International Waterpower Magazine

Preview of the article on HYPOS in Waterpower magazine

In January, 2022 the International Waterpower Magazine featured an article on the new HYPOS portal. It is a good chance to reach out to thousands of readers and introducing the portal to the users.


Read the article here

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Webinar #1 – Intro to HYPOS

On December, 15th in 2021 our first Webinar is set up.

Join us and see “live” how HYPOS can empower you to a quick, but comprehensive view on your reservoir or river catchment.

  • Learn from data scientists how to easily combine key hydrological parameters to innovative assessment tools. – A strong decision support tool for hydropower managers and planners.
  • Dam engineering experts will show you how the portal performed in reservoirs in Europe. It has been tested on hydropower sites in Switzerland, Albania and Georgia.
  • Get in touch with the project team within the Q & A session and tell us about your specific requirements.

Participation is free of charge via Zoom.

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HYPOS in the IHA Innovation Hub

HYPOS has been featured in the Innovation Hub of the International Hydropower Association (IHA).

The article starts as follows:
Hundreds of kilometres high in the sky, satellites are getting ready to replace probes and divers to help hydropower plant operators understand and manage their reservoirs more economically and more sustainably than ever. Their secret? HYPOS, an EU-funded project carried out by five organisations specialised in water management and the capture and analysis of satellite images of Earth.

Read the full version of the brilliant article “Satellite images can now tell you everything about your reservoir” here.


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HYPOS Newsletter – Issue 1, February 2021

HYPOS Introduction

HYPOS at a glance
A novel space enabled Hydro-Power-Suite

The HYdro-POwer-Suite (HYPOS) leads the next generation of water resources and sediment management tools. It transforms satellite-based water quality and sediment related parameters into business relevant tools for the hydropower industry, enabling effective environmental and economic investment planning. This online tool for the hydropower industry combines Earth Observation (EO) technologies with hydrologic modelling, and can be complemented by local on-site information.

The HYPOS solution is right for you if you would like an easy access to data and assessments that are essential for planning and monitoring. HYPOS can offer for example inflow/outflow volumes, sediment management (e.g. flushing or dredging) evaluation, near real-time monitoring of sediment management activities (e.g. downstream sediment concentrations), evaporation rates, bank and bed erosion, phytoplankton and higher aquatic vegetation development, all presented in ready-to-use formats to provide support for environmental evaluation, reporting and impact assessments.

Dating back to the early 1980s various spatial and temporal resolutions can be obtained from EO. For water bodies at least 30 m wide, these values can be derived at 10-30 m grids every 3 to 5 days. Daily coverage is possible for larger water bodies with coarser resolution or by using commercial satellite data, that also provides higher resolutions up to 2m and can be tasked for specific events. Hydrological models can provide data at daily resolution for historical period up to today and even forecasting future conditions if desired.

The combination of state-of-the art satellite and hydrological data provided by the HYPOS in a ready-to-use format enables us to support our customers with the most advanced cutting-edge technology in planning and managing both small and large hydropower projects.

Have a look at:

“In Brazil, a country with over 500 hydropower plants, the HYPOS suite with its state-of-the art satellite and hydrological data would be a powerful tool in the broad market. In Lactec’s experience, we see that sedimentation in reservoirs problematic is a recurrent theme, one that would greatly benefit from the suite.”
Lactec (Technology Institute for Development) is a research company in Brazil which aims for innovative solutions, with a large experience in the hydropower sector
HYPOS real world applications
The suite works in any location in the world, the next one could be yours!

Currently HYPOS adresses 4 real-world use cases:

  • Gebidem Dam (Switzerland)
  • Verbois/Chancy Pougny hydropower plant (Switzerland)
  • Enguri hydroelectric power plants (Georgia)
  • Banja hydropower plant (Albania)

A closer look to: The Banja hydropower plant

Banja hydropower plant is located in the Cërrik Municipality in Elbasan County, 65 kilometres southeast of Albania’s capital Tirana. The total production is be 255 GWh/y. The power plant was officially opened in September 2016 as the first plant to be completed by Devoll Hydropower Sh.A. (DHP), an Albanian-registered company, owned and operated by Statkraft. In line with a concession agreement approved by the Albanian parliament in 2009, Devoll Hydropower will build, own and operate hydropower plants in a cascade along the Devoll River in southeast Albania.

The construction of Banja at the Devoll River started in June 2013. More than 2000 workers contributed to its construction activities. The plant has three Francis turbines with an installed capacity of 72 MW. A dam height of 80 metres creates a reservoir with a total volume of ca 400 billion litres of water that covers an area of ca 14 square kilometres.

Banja is only one part of the Devoll project in Albania. Together with a power plant Moglicë that started operating in 2019, joint total output for the project will reach 269 MW. Moglicë’s reservoir with an area of ca 7 square kilometres holds a total volume of ca 380 billion litres behind a 167 m high dam. The two plants will have an annual production of 705 GWh, which represents a 17-percent increase in Albania’s total energy production.

At the end of 2015 a research station was installed to monitor the suspended sediment concentrations (SSC) in river Devoll every 30 min. The station records SSC continuously at the Kokel bridge at all times when the water depth exceeds one meter since January 2016. This research station complements a gauging station at the same location that has been operated by Statkraft since 2008. HYPOS will leverage the SSC data from Kokel together with the SSC and turbidity data taken in the Banja reservoir in order to ensure good data quality for the satellite-derived information.

HYPOS feedback
Understanding the sectors challenges is the key for targeted solutions

HYPOS suite is designed to address key challenges of the hydropower sector together with selected actors. However, further continuous improvements through additional user interactions will allow refinement and development of targeted solutions for all hydropower sector outside the current case studies. Thus, if you are working in the sector and would like to contribute, please fill out our dedicated online questionnaire – it should take 10 minutes at most. If you choose so, you will also have an opportunity to become a part of the HYPOS community and receive the latest information about the suite. Upon submission of the questionnaire you will also receive a free sample of a high resolution satellite-based turbidity map for your area of interest (depending of reservoir size and data availability).

Latest HYPOS publications
The science behind the solution

HYPOS partners are actively sharing the science behind the suite as well as their experiences from the development and first applications of their tools. You can check out our new publications and presentations below.

  • Alena Bartosova, Berit Arheimer, Alban de Lavenne, René Capell, Johan Strömqvist, 2021: Large-scale hydrological and sediment modeling in nested domains under current and changing climate. Journal of Hydrologic Engineering. DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)HE.1943-5584.0002078, Link
    Abstract: Continental and global dynamic hydrological models have emerged recently as tools for large-scale analyses. One such tool is a dynamic process-based rainfall-runoff and water quality model Hydrological Predictions for Environment (HYPE). We present and compare historical simulations of runoff and sediment concentrations for three nested model domains using global, continental (Europe), and national (Sweden) catchment-based HYPE applications. Future impacts on runoff, soil moisture, and aridity from changing climate were assessed using the global and continental HYPE applications with 3 CMIP5 GCMs. Simulated sediment concentrations varied considerably among the nested models in spatial patterns due to different data sources while runoff values were more similar. Regardless of the variation, the global model was able to provide information on climate change impacts comparable to those from the continental and national models for hydrological indicators. Global hydrological models are thus valuable tools for e.g. first screenings of climate change effects and detection of spatial patterns. Comparison across nested domains demonstrates the significance of scale which needs to be considered when interpreting the impacts alongside with model performance.
  • EGU21-10919– Sustainability as a challenge to face and a goal to reach: interdisciplinary approach to support raw materials and energy supply
    Abstract: In this study we present the first products from the HYPOS project. These products are representative of what can be generated within the Decision Support Tool (DST) using elaboration techniques of EO data. Gridded products of water quality parameters (e.g. water turbidity, Chlorophyll-a concentration, suspended sediments concentration) are generated for the test sites of the project, which are small dammed reservoirs located in Switzerland, France, Albania and Georgia. These products are obtained using the Modular Inversion and Processing System (MIP), a sensor independent image processing chain based on radiative transfer models, which works in a multi-layer system, solving the light transfer in the atmosphere, at the water surface and inside the waterbody. For the assessment of the “blue footprint” of a reservoir, the water loss due to evaporation is computed by applying a consolidated mass transfer evaporation method to EO data. The resulting evaporation rates are first compared with the outputs of semi-automatic evapotranspiration EObased models (e.g. SEBAL), and then with the estimates obtained from two different numerical models: a hydrological model (E-Hype) and a 3D hydrodynamic model (Delft3D). The key parameters influencing water evaporation rates, their behaviour and the issues related to each approach are analysed. The first comparison results are made for lake Garda, where a complete set of data is available for the production of evaporation maps.
  • Other contributions partially supported by HYPOS that were accepted for EGU 2021:
    • EGU21-15426 Evaluation of surface runoff model hypothesis by multi-objective calibration using discharge and sediment data by Alban de Lavenne et al. Session HS2.3.7 – Multi-dataset, multi-variable, and multi-objective techniques to improve prediction of hydrological and water quality models and their Bayesian applications
    • EGU21-14251 Modelling losses of reservoir storage capacity from sedimentation in different landscapes; by Conrad Brendel et al. Session HS2.2.1 – Understanding hydrological processes across spatio-temporal scales: from data to model
    • EGU21-8852 Are large scale models useful? A case of nested model domains for assessing current and future stream runoff and sediments by Alena Bartosova et al. Session HS2.5.1 – Large scale hydrology
HYPOS events
Meet the team at upcoming events

The HYPOS project will be presented at several events, amongst others at:

  • 19–30 April 2021 at EGU (online)
  • 13-15 July 2021 at HYDRO Africa, Lake Victoria, Uganda
  • HYPOS workshop in summer 2021 – details will be provided in the next newsletter in May 2021

The HYPOS team is happy to hear from you – contact us at:

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