TIGER for Water Resources Management

Delegates from South Africa and African countries attending the TIGER training course in Pretoria.

The South Africa Space Agency (TIGER Regional office) is hosting a capacity building and training workshop for stakeholders from the 7th to 11th September 2015, in Pretoria. The workshop held at the Department of Science and Technology is being attended by about 30 participants from African countries (Swaziland, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, DR Congo, Uganda, Ethiopia, Morocco, and Madagascar) and water management professionals in South Africa.

Advances in Earth Observation are becoming more and more exciting. Developments in the field of free-data access, open source software and new observation satellites such as Sentinel-1 have led to greater possibilities to integrate the tools in water resource management and monitoring activities. In the framework of the TIGER-NET project, the Water Observation and Information System (WOIS) have successfully been implemented in various basins in Africa. With the successful launch of the Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2, new high-resolution data will become available for Africa.

The availability of WOIS software together with Sentinel 1 &a 2 data has opened new opportunities for African water authorities, research centres and scientists to continue developing their capacities towards better and more effective water observations and management systems that exploit the increasing advantages of Earth Observation technology.

This “train-the-trainers” course enables the participants to transfer acquired knowledge into their own organisations and teams. The main objective of the workshop is to provide hands-on computer based training in conjunction with presentations and lectures from South African and International Earth Observation specialists.

The workshop will provide an overview of Earth Observation progress in both data acquisition and data analysis whilst these EO products and services are used for water management in Africa.

Dr. Ben Gorte, from the Netherlands, demonstrating the uses of Sentinel.

The workshop is facilitated by Dr Ben Gorte from Delft University of Technology, in Netherlands. He highlights on the types of sensors, resolution, number of bands, life span, date of launch and their acquisition days. He then further discussed the use of microwave detectors for small water bodies and how the spectral reflectance of water is low in NIR and SWIR.

“We are looking forward to the applications of remote sensing  for mapping small water bodies and landcover and also monitoring irrigation using WOIS, because these are the current ventures the Department of Water and Sanitation is looking into.” said  Mbali Mahlayeye from Department of Water and Sanitation.

Mbali Mahlayeye from the Dept. of Water & Sanitation.

Vaneshree Maharaj