United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA)
Government of Costa Rica
Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water (PSIPW)
Rationale and Context
The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), the Government of Costa Rica, and the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water (PSIPW) are jointly organizing a conference to promote the use of space technology in water management to the benefit of developing countries.
The Conference will be held in San José, Costa Rica, from 7-10 May 2024, hosted by and with the support of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) on behalf of the Government of Costa Rica.
The Conference is the sixth international event focusing on applications of space technology for water in the series of conferences organised with the financial assistance of the PSIPW.
The initial event, on space technology for water management, took place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in April 2008, the second conference was organized in March 2011 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the third conference in Rabat, Morocco in April 2014, the fourth in Islamabad, Pakistan in February-March 2018 and the fifth in Accra, Ghana in May 2022.
The conference series on the use of space technology for water management started in 2008 and is part of the UNOOSA Space for Water Project in cooperation with the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water. The purpose of the conferences is to increase the number of developing countries that have developed the capacity to use space science and technology, as well as related applications, for water management and water-related scientific research. With a scientific and technical focus, the conferences of this series involve experts from all world regions but have a focus on regional needs and challenges. Speakers consist of experts who will present how concrete technical actions have improved water management in their area of expertise, and experts who will debate in panel discussions about either technical or policy topics. Besides the main event, practical hands-on experience opportunities, like demonstration sessions or workshops, have taken place to complement the more theoretical and scientific presentations and panel discussions.
In 2024, UNOOSA, Costa Rica and the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water (PSIPW) will jointly organize the sixth conference on the use of space technology for water management with the support of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA).
To feed growing a population while maintaining access to clean drinking water and sanitation, and ensuring the water needs of healthy ecosystems, humanity needs to change the way water is used in food production. Agriculture uses 70% of freshwater resources worldwide, and the World Bank estimates that we will also need a 70% higher output from agricultural production by 2050 to nourish an increasing population.