Remote Sensing for Water Resources Management in Africa
The aim of the initiative is to train professionals, water resource managers and staff from government agencies and other organisations in current remote sensing data sources and their application in water resources management, through hands-on training directly relevant to their country and region of interest. The training programme will contribute directly to:
- Capacity building of early-career professionals in the application of remote sensing data products and information systems for improved water resources management
- Training on the available open-source software options for analysis of remotely sensed data
- Dissemination of data portals, tools, methods and information systems for using remote sensing data products in data-poor regions of sub-Saharan Africa
- Establishing a cross-region network of water professionals with an interest in using remote sensing approached for solving regional water resource management challenges
This course builds on the momentum and collective experience of several iterations of international training in the application of satellite remote sensing to support water resources management. The first course was held in Foz de Iguazú, Brazil (13-20 July 2016) as well as the second (29 November – 6 December 2017), training more than 140 participants from 20 countries.
The preceding courses have focused on Latin America and the Caribbean, but challenges of water management (floods, climate change and water scarcity and drought) in Africa are no less pressing. Whilst some initiatives (e.g. African Flood & Drought Monitor) have step-changed access to remotely sensed data and its application, there is much more work needed in relation to knowledge exchange around the use of remotely sensed data, its use in water resources management and training and capacity development to achieve this. Furthermore, in the recent workshop on ‘Needs assessment for Climate Services for improved Water Resources Management in vulnerable regions of Southern Africa’ held in Harare, Zimbabwe from 30-31 January 2018, training in remote sensing applications for water resource management was acknowledged as a high priority. Therefore, a 7 day training on remote sensing for water management is organized to strengthen capacities in the region.
The expected outcomes and impacts of the course include:
• Enhanced regional capacity to address water related hazards and challenges using remote sensing products and information systems
• Online reference materials, including lectures, tutorials and case studies to support use of remote sensing in management of challenging water resources management
• A compendium of delegate-driven case studies
• A growing network of connected professionals who share a common experience of training and subsequent experiences in application of this training
• In the longer term, an online repository of webinars and other material on remote sensing for water resources management in Africa
The target audience are professionals, water resources managers and staff from governmental agencies and institutes, disaster managers, policy makers, providers of space technology applications from governments, academia, research, NGO and corporate sector. The course is intended as a bridge between beginner and intermediate and applicants should have some basic GIS skills and some experience in water resource management, but not necessarily extensive experience in hydrology.
The course is organized by UNESCO-IHP, in collaboration with the University of the West of England, Bristol (UK) - Centre for Water, Communities and Resilience and the International Water Security Network and the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa - African Centre for Global Change and Water Resources Research.