Improving the management of transboundary water resources and building resilience to hydrological extremes requires an in-depth understanding of water resource dynamics at the basin level. This can only be achieved with empirical data and observations that equitably consider resource-users both upstream and downstream. To collaborate on the management of shared water resources, water users often come together in organizations working at the river basin and regional levels. However, such groups often lack a holistic understanding of the complex regional water supply and usage network due to insufficient data.
and facilitating better international cooperation, and reducing conflict and systemic barriers to development. RS data is used as an input for various analytical tools, for example: flood forecasting, monitoring of surface water quality, tracking of water diversion and allocation, as well as the quantification of water storage in reservoirs. Satellite-derived data is advantageous from a technical standpoint since the instrumentation required does not vary across borders reducing the present technological disharmony that is pervasive across the African continent. Additionally, this form of data is politically neutral, therefore, enhancing data transparency across country borders and potentially reducing the effect of socio-political barriers that discord in intergovernmental data-sharing regulation often presents. There are many free or low-cost data products that facilitate the collection, storage, and analysis of RS data. River basin and regional organizations across Africa can utilize these tools to better inform decision-making and strengthen data sharing among riparian countries. However, many decision-makers lack the capacity to access and adapt these products to provide solutions at the appropriate scales.
To address this capacity gap, the Cooperation in International Waters in Africa (CIWA) and World Bank supported Water Data Revolution (WDR): Closing the Data Gap for Transboundary Water in Africa project puts RS data tools into the hands of water managers, helping to improve the capacity of water organizations to collect, store, and analyze RS data. This project employs a user-driven approach to identify common needs amongst end-users and connects them with the appropriate solutions, ranging from RS tools to satellite imagery, to custom data products tailored to the needs of resource users in their specific locality.
Using the outcomes of the assessment, the project will be able to provide capacity-building opportunities that align with the specific needs and goals of the various resource-user organizations to improve their access to and use of RS data, data products, and analytical tools, while also accounting for and addressing the constraints they face when using and adapting to new digital data platforms. Furthermore,