The concept of Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) is seen as an opportunity to help manage water variability and the wide spread water scarcity in Africa. One key component missing from IWRM in Africa is the limited knowledge of the available extent and quality of water resources at basin level. Earth Observation (EO) technology can help fill this information gap by assessing and monitoring water resources at adequate temporal and spatial scales.
The goal of this Special Issue is to understand and demonstrate the contribution which satellite observations, consistent over space and time, can bring to improve water resource management in Africa. Possible EO products and applications range from catchment characterization, water quality monitoring, soil moisture assessment, water extent and level monitoring, irrigation services, urban and agricultural water demand modeling, evapotranspiration estimation, ground water management, to hydrological modeling and flood mapping/forecasting.
Some of these EO applications have already been developed by African scientists within the 10 year lifetime of the TIGER initiative: Looking after Water in Africa (http://www.tiger.esa.int), whose contributions are intended to be the starting point of this Special Issue and is only one example of the wide range of activities in the field.