‘Water Stress and Climate Indices for Africa’ (WaSCIA) is an ESA funded project that aims to deliver high-quality Water Stress and Climate Indices through an easy-to-use web interface to help the management of drought and water stress in Africa.
The project is led by Telespazio UK with the partnership of RSS-Hydro, Telespazio France, AGRHYMET (Centre Regional de Formation et d’Application en Agrométéorologie et Hydrologie Opérationnelle), LPAOSF (Laboratoire Physique de l’Atmosphère et de l’Océan Simeon Fongang) and DGPRE (Direction de la Gestion et de la Planification des Ressources en Eau Sénégal).
The benefits of an effective drought monitoring solution include:
- Detection of early onsets of water stress related to drought conditions, its severity and spatial extent
- Improvement in understanding water-crop productivity in the long term
- Assisting yield forecasting efforts and food security
The solution aims to deliver weekly water stress information derived from Earth Observation (EO) data and climate indices derived from ERA5 reanalysis data. It will provide this information at national level for Senegal, with the goal of being extended to other African countries. The service will leverage on open-source innovative information technology and be deployed using an existing cloud-based platform, Web Advanced Space Developer Interface (WASDI). A decision support tool will provide end users with threshold warning information that will help to manage risks associated with drought conditions.
Telespazio UK (a Telespazio Group company) is an experienced consulting, technology, engineering, space operations and service development business headquartered in Luton, UK. The company has built its first-class reputation, through >40 years of working in the UK space industry, by exploiting technology developments in Earth Observation and Satellite Navigation & Communications, pioneering innovative services in space operations and applications.
RSS-Hydro, a Luxembourg R&D company founded in 2017, is a single-entity business, with activities focusing on innovative uses of remote sensing and space technologies for geospatial services in environmental applications. The company’s activities pivot around three business pillars: research and development, commercial products and services, and expert consulting. RSS-Hydro’s main business consists of developing science-driven products and services focusing on environment and water-related hazards and risks, in particular floods, using computer simulations and remote sensing technologies.
Telespazio France, the French subsidiary of the Telespazio Group operates in the main space markets of telecommunications, earth observation, navigation, and satellite operations. Telespazio France has a complete range of Earth Observation tools and algorithms; and offers high value-added products and services in fields as varied as defence, maritime surveillance, agriculture, insurance and the environment. Through its involvement in major European programmes such as Galileo, EGNOS and Copernicus, Telespazio France confirms its experience in managing large-scale projects in the field of spatial geo-information.
Centre Régional de Formation et d’Application en Agrométéorologie et Hydrologie Opérationnelle (AGRHYMET), a specialised agency of the Permanent Inter-State Committee against Drought in the Sahel (CILSS) composed of nine member States, including Senegal. It aims to achieve food security and increased agricultural production in the member States and to improve natural resources management in the Sahel region by providing training and information to development stakeholders and partners. It is also a regional institute specialised in the science and techniques applied to agricultural development, rural development and natural resource management. AGRHYMET has participated in previous ESA studies (including AQUIFER) and has long established links with African end users which will be leveraged upon within this project.
Laboratoire Physique de l’Atmosphère et de l’Océan Simeon Fongang (LPAOSF), who, within the Université Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD) in Dakar has a strong track record in international interdisciplinary research on climate and its impacts. LPAOSF has more than 17 years of experience in working with African climate services, governments, and national and international NGOs, and in conducting large-scale interdisciplinary projects.
Direction de la Gestion et de la Planification des Ressources en Eau (DGPRE), a department under the remit of the Senegal Ministry of Water and Sanitation in Senegal, in charge of the management and planning of Senegalese water resources. DGPRE has established links with end users in Senegal which will be leveraged upon within this project.