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TIGER workshop highlights project results

Water resources, the 'blue gold' of the 21st century, are scarce across Africa where the hydrological network is the worlds least developed. ESA launched the TIGER initiative in 2002 as a CEOS (Committee on Earth Observation satellites) contribution to assist African countries to overcome water-related problems and to bridge Africa's water information gap using satellite data.

TIGER has since involved more than 150 African organisations investigating the various stages of the water cycle across the African continent. More than 80 African water authorities and remote-sensing experts gathered in Cape Town, South Africa, from 20 to 24 November to review the mid-term results achieved to date and to attend training sessions organised by ESA and UNESCO.

In her opening remarks, the Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry of the Republic of South Africa Lindiwe Benedicta Hendricks said: "Without appropriate tools and skills, as well as accurate and reliable information to support and inform decision-making processes, being able to adequately address the water challenges that face us will remain a pie in the sky.

"We must therefore congratulate the European Space Agency, UNESCO, and other international partners for their response to this need by having an initiative to address the information gap."

The TIGER initiative is implemented in three stages research, pre-operational and operational. The research stage encourages water authorities in Africa to undertake research initiatives in the field of water and resource management and supports them with Earth observation (EO) data, training and tools. Results for the research stage were presented for the first time at the workshop in Cape Town, making it evident that the TIGER training sessions held throughout the year to familiarise users to EO data and techniques were successful.

Research presentations outlined how EO data led to the detection of a previously unknown fault in Mo
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Contact: Mariangela D'Acunto
mariangela.dacunto@esa.int
39-069-418-0856
European Space Agency
28-Nov-2006


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