Ecometrica Platform Streams Satellite Data to Monitor & Model Drought

Analysis of historic drought in Australia shows how the Ecometrica Platform can help assess and model global water risk

A new Ecometrica Platform Mapping application allows users to easily access and compare historical drought index records and anomalies for any area in the Murray Darling Basin.


Water ModuleDrought & Water Stress Modulemonitoring_512alerts_512

The app currently manages 939 layers of spatial data for 7 drought indices over an 11 year period, still a small sample of the geospatial data and indices available to help monitor and predict drought and water resources. Using the Ecometrica Platform, a vast amount of additional near-real time data and historical drought and vegetation indices and spatial data can assimilated, published and shared with users online without the need for GIS software or raw data downloads.



The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) is a satellite-based measurement of the greenness of vegetation. The above results show how vegetation greenness has deviated from the 11 year average for each month for the whole of the Murray Darling region. This kind of data can be streamed in near-real time from satellites directly to your Ecometrica Platform.



Online and downloadable results for each drought index can be produced on-the-fly for any user-defined area using the Ecometrica Platform. These results show the 3-month Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) over an 11 year period including the millennium drought. SPI 3 month values are derived from weather station data and show a seasonal estimate of precipitation over a 3 month period.

The graphed results can be interactively compared with any of the other indices available on the app, including the Vegetation Optical Depth (VOD) and SPI 6, 9 & 12 month data.




Changes in land cover occurring in the Murray Darling Basin can be tracked over the 11 year drought period to interactively compare with drought indices, seasonal precipitation and vegetation growth for specific areas.  This time series data can be extracted and analysed for the whole of the Murray Darling Basin, specific catchment areas, or users can draw their own areas of interest within the Murray Darling Basin to view results.

map of the gwydir river with some information about it underneath



A time series animation of each Drought Index per month for 2001 to 2011 is available on the application for each vegetation index, showing the temporal and spatial pattern of drought and vegetation health over the the Millennium Drought period.

map of australia with 3 thumbnails down the lefthand side


Reading Time: 3 Minutes

Date Published: August 4, 2015



Analysis of historic drought in Australia […]


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