Wim Bastiaanssen Prof., PhD

Professor of Global Water Accounting


Wim G.M. Bastiaanssen is a professor of global water accounting for IHE Delft and a professor of civil engineering and geosciences at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in the Netherlands. Wim Bastiaanssen is an expert in earth observation technologies for soil physical, land surface, hydrological and atmospheric processes, with a specialization in river basin and agricultural water management. He has extensive experience in irrigation hydrology at field and regional scales. His interest is to quantify pixel information for situations where data scarcity or no access to data prevails. He believes that every pixel “talks”.

He developed the Surface Energy Balance Algorithm for Land (SEBAL), an image-processing model that maps evapotranspiration, biomass growth, water deficit and soil moisture. SEBAL has grown out as one of the world leading algorithms for consumptive use. More than 1000 peer reviewed articles refer to the original SEBAL paper published in the Journal of Hydrology during 1998. The US-version of SEBAL is referred to as Mapping Evapotranspiration with Internalized Calibration (METRIC), which has been further refined to typical irrigation conditions encountered in Western US by Dr. Richard Allen. Progress is underway to operate SEBAL though the Earth Engine in an automated manner.

The lack of access to data in transboundary river basins is an issue of great concern. There is an urgent need to use independently gathered water resources-related data sets in water conflicts that can be commonly understood by hydrologists, economists, agronomists, environmentalists, social scientists, legal experts and political scientists.

A system of water accounting has so far been missing as an important element in the emerging system of global water governance. In view of the great water challenges that the world community is facing, IHE Delft and its partners the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and UNESCO World Water Assessment Program (WWAP) joined forces to pro-actively create and operationalize the research field of global water accounting.

A special Chair of Global Water Accounting was created with support of DGIS from the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs in April 2014, that is a catalyst to provide open access data for areas with water insecurity, conflicts and scarcity. Wim is the scientific developer of Water Accounting Plus (WA+) analytical framework that produces the information on water flows, fluxes, consumptive use and services. Analogous to financial accounting, water accounting will be reported by means of fact sheets, tables and maps. More background and water accounts for sample basins can be found at www.wateraccounting.org.

Wim works with several governments in East Africa, North Africa, Near-East and Southeast Asia to implement water accounting into governmental decision making processes. These pilot studies are covered by the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, FAO and the CGIAR Water Land and Ecosystems program. Prof. Bastiaanssen has been a Fellow of the International Water Management Institute in Sri Lanka, and was a Professor at ITC before (currently University of Twente). As an entrepreneur, he founded and co-founded WaterWatch bv, SEBAL North America inc., eLEAF bv and CropZoomer bv companies.

Wim Bastiaanssen holds a doctorate in eco-hydrology, soil physics and groundwater management from Wageningen Agricultural University (1995) and a bachelor’s in tropical land and water management engineering from Van Hall - Larenstein, Velp (1986). He grew up on a Dutch polder farm. 

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Bastiaanssen, W.G.M. and P. Steduto, 2017. The Water Productivity Score (WPS) at Global and Regional Level: Methodology and first global results from remote sensing for wheat, rice and maize, Science of the Total Environment, Volume 575, 1 January 2017, Pages 595-611

Bastidas-Obando, E., W.G.M. Bastiaanssen and C. Jarmain, 2017. Estimation of transpiration fluxes from rained and irrigated sugarcane in South Africa using a crop resistance and crop coefficient model, Agricultural Water Management (118): 94-107

Duan, Z., and W.G.M. Bastiaanssen, 2017. Evaluation of three energy balance-based evaporation models for estimating monthly evaporation for five lakes using derived heat storage changes from a hysteresis model, Environmental Research Letters (12): 024005

Than Ha, L., W.G.M. Bastiaanssen, A. van Griensven, A.I.J.M. van Dijk, J.P Guerschman and G.B. Senay, 2017. SWAT-CUP for the calibration of spatially distributed hydrological processes and ecosystem services in a Vietnamese river basin using remote sensing, HESSD

Poortinga, A., W.G.M. Bastiaanssen, G. Simons, D. Saah, G. Senay, M. Fenn, B. Bean and J. Kadyszewski, 2017. A Self-Calibrating Runoff and Streamflow Remote Sensing Model for Ungauged Basins Using Open-Access Earth Observation Data, MDPI Remote Sensing, Remote Sens. 2017, 9(1), 86; doi:10.3390/rs9010086

Duan, Z., and W.G.M. Bastiaanssen, 2016. Evaluation of three energy balance-based evaporation models for estimating monthly evaporation for five lakes using derived heat storage changes from a hysteresis model, Environmental Research Letters (12): 024005

Lines, C., M. Werner and W.G.M. Bastiaanssen, 2016. The predictability of reported drought events and impacts in the Ebro basin using six different remote sensing datasets, HESSD, doi:10.5194/hess-2016-671

Simons, G.W.H., W.G.M. Bastiaanssen, L.A. Ngo, C.R. Hain, M. Anderson and G. Senay, 2016. Integrating open-access satellite-derived global data products as a pre-analysis for hydrological modelling studies: a case study for the Red River Basin, Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 279; doi:10.3390/rs8040279

More publications of Wim Bastiaanssen can be downloaded here or visit his page on Google Scholar.