The innovative UNESCO World Water Quality Portal for Lake Chad aims to support the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) on water quality monitoring of Lake Chad and its tributary Chari-Logone rivers through satellite Earth Observation, complemented by in-situ measurements.
Good water quality in Lake Chad is essential for the health of local communities and for the preservation of their traditional subsistence practices such as traditional fishing, breeding and harvesting of spirulina, which depend on of this precious resource and its water quality. The Lake Chad Portal, thus, supports ecological preservation, local livelihoods, sustainable development, and peace in the Lake Chad Basin, whose water and natural resources over 40 million people depend on.
The Portal provides access to data on key water quality parameters of Lake Chad, since 2013, retrieved from EO images from Sentinel-2 and Landsat satellites (at 20 meters and 30 meters spatial resolution, respectively) and complemented by in-situ measurements. Satellite EO-derived water quality data are calibrated and validated by in-situ measurement data on water quality of Lake Chad and Chari-Logone, carried out by the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC). Satellite EO-derived data on water surface variability and water level of Lake Chad evolution are also accessible.
The Portal was conceptualized and developed under the International Initiative on Water Quality (IIWQ) of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (IHP). Its application in the Lake Chad Basin was made possible through collaboration between IHP and the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) programme in the framework of the Project “Biosphere and Heritage of Lake Chad” (BIOPALT).
The Portal for Lake Chad is the first application of the use of satellite EO data for operational monitoring of inland freshwater quality, building on the demonstration phase of the UNESCO World Water Quality Portal for selected river basins in world’s different regions in 2018.