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During a side event at the 6th World Water Forum TIGER-NET, a major component within the TIGER initiative to develop and demonstrate a user-driven Water Observation and Information System, was officially launched and will be running for three years starting 1st of April 2012. The side event discussed and developed together with African stakeholders the opportunities for improving Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) by exploiting the advantages of Earth Observation (EO) technology. The discussion covered applications in which satellite observations can provide for the assessment and monitoring of water resources from watershed to cross-border basin level, delivering indispensible information for IWRM. The project addresses the following topics:

- Development of Water Observation and Information System for monitoring, assessing and inventorying water resources in a cost-effective manner by EO data;
- Capacity building and training of African water authorities to fully exploit the observation capacity offered by the next generation of satellites.

The duration of the TIGER-NET project is 3 years, divided into 2 cycles. The overall budget amounts to 1,5 M.. During the first project cycle TIGER-NET will develop solutions in close collaboration with the following African water authorities: Nile Basin Initiative, Lake Chad Basin Commission, Volta Basin Authority, Department of Water Affairs South Africa, and the Namibian Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry. For the second cycle two additional users will be taken aboard.

The TIGER-NET side event was chaired by the African Ministers. Council on Water (AMCOW), represented by Salisu Abdulmumin, and Benjamin Koetz from ESA who further introduced the objectives of TIGER-NET. Several users presented how Earth Observation can be integrated in the Lake Chad Basin Observatory (Mohammed Bila, Lake Chad Basin Commission), the role of EO in the Nile Decision Support System, (Abdulkarim Seid and Bedru Muzein, Nile Basin Initiative) and EO for integrated Water Resource Management in South Africa (Carey Rajah, Department of Water Affaires South Africa).

More information:http://www.tiger-net.org/fileadmin/documents/TIGER-NET_newsletter_I1.pdf

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