Implementation Plan

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Specifically, the immediate objectives of HiWATER are outlined as follows.

(1) To develop a watershed observing system that serves watershed science and integrated water resource management.
(2) To precisely measure each component of water cycle with multi-scale observations in order to close the river basin scale water cycle.
(3) To obtain multi-scale data critical for the understanding of ecosystem dynamics and the relationship with the water resource availability in inland river basin.
(4) To produce a series of high quality remote sensing products that can support basin scale integrated eco-hydrological study.
(5) To validate remote sensing models, algorithms and products through purposeful validation experiments.
(6) To apply observation data and remote sensing products into distributed hydrology model, coupled surface water-groundwater-crop growth model and water consumption model at the upstream, middle stream and downstream of the Heihe River Basin respectively. It is expected that the application ability of remote sensing in eco-hydrological study and water recourse management can be enhanced through these empirical case studies.
Six scientific questions are being explored in HiWATER, and most of them were proposed from a methodological point of view.
(1) How well can remote sensing data be used to improve our understanding of the eco-hydrological processes in a river basin? What types of eco-hydrological processes can be monitored through remote sensing? How accurate are these measurements? How can we develop more reliable and robust eco-hydrological remote sensing methods through field experiments?
(2) Which kinds of remote sensing products are urgently needed in eco-hydrological studies? How to produce remote sensing products towards water cycle and ecology processes with better quality and finer resolution by taking account the special characteristics of inland river basin located in cold and arid regions?
(3) How well can we capture the spatial-temporal variations of each observation item at a basin scale? How well can we design an in situ observation network? What is the optimum density and scale of each individual observation sensor?
(4) How can we design in situ sampling strategies aimed at remote sensing validation? How can we acquire ground truths at pixel scale over heterogeneous land surfaces that can be used as a reference truth for remote sensing validation?
(5) How can we effectively use remote sensing observations and products in integrated eco-hydrology study? What is the role of remote sensing products for their utilization in the key topics of integrated eco-hydrological study in inland river basin?
(6) How can we integrate remote sensing observations, in situ measurements and model simulations to accurately estimate the state variables and fluxes in water cycle and ecological processes, and to improve the accuracies of hydrology and ecology simulations and prediction at basin scale?


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