TIGER-NET enabling an Earth Observation capacity for Integrated Water Resource Management in Africa
Walli, Andreas1; Tottrup, Christian2; Koetz, Benjamin3; Fernandez, Diego4
1GeoVille Group, AUSTRIA; 2Grass, DENMARK; 3ESA, GERMANY; 4ESA, SPAIN

To respond to the urgent information needs for Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) by African water authorities, the TIGER-NET project has been introduced by ESA to the TIGER initiative. The ESA TIGER initiative supports water authorities, technical centers and other stakeholders in the African water sector to enhance their capacity to collect and use water relevant geo-information to better monitor, assess and inventory their water resources by exploiting Earth Observation (EO) products and services. TIGER-NET builds on the 10 years of experience collected within TIGER demonstration and capacity building activities in order to develop practices and tools required for an eventual transfer of EO information into the day-to-day work of water authorities. The TIGER-NET project has two main objectives in order to support the assessment and monitoring of water resources from watershed to cross-boarder basin level delivering indispensable information for IWRM: 1. Development of Water Observation and Information Systems (WOIS) for monitoring, assessing and inventorying water resources in a cost-effective manner by EO data; 2. Capacity building and training of African water authorities and technical centers to fully exploit the increasing observation capacity offered by current and the next generation of satellites, including the Sentinel missions. Within TIGER-NET EO applications, necessary data access and processing facilities are developed and installed at the following African water authorities to support their IWRM activities: Nile Basin initiative, Lake Chad Basin Commission, Volta Basin Authority, Department of Water Affairs South Africa, the Ministry of Water of Namibia and the Department of Water Affairs of Zambia. The project was officially kicked off at the World Water Forum in Marseilles in March 2012 and the first project cycle including a full demonstration of the WOIS to the involved users will be completed by the second half of 2013. Dedicated demonstration cases have been developed covering all EO products required by the engaged African water authorities for their water resource management tasks such as water reservoir inventory, water quality monitoring, water demand planning as well as flood forecasting and monitoring. Each of the demonstrated EO products has been validated and their utility been assessed in collaboration with the respective user. The developed open source Water Observation Information System will assist African institutions to build up necessary local capacity to access and exploit satellite observations for monitoring and management of their water resources. Figure 1: Tiger-Net Water Observation and Information System enabling satellite earth observation support for Integrated Water Resource Management applications in Africa Figure 2: Map showing MERIS based (Land Cover, land degradation and change) soil erosion potential in Kenya to the east of Lake Victoria, used by the Nile Basin Initiative to prioritize river bank management projects.