Collaborating to enhance water management in Africa


EUMETSAT and African experts map out cooperation in the field of hydrology


EUMETSAT is stepping up its collaboration with African entities to enhance use of satellite data and products in the field of hydrology.

Last Updated

03 April 2024

Published on

03 April 2024

Hydrology workshop
Participants in the EUMETSAT-hosted workshop on enhancing use of satellite data and products for hydrology in Africa.

Representatives from the African Union Commission (AUC), the Nile, Congo and Niger river basin authorities, national and regional institutions from South Africa, Senegal, Nigeria and East Africa, along with representatives from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the French Space Agency (CNES), attended a workshop at EUMETSAT headquarters on 19-21 March to formulate a roadmap for cooperation.

EUMETSAT’s Operational Hydrology and Water Manager Satellite Application Facility (H SAF), which has been providing products covering Africa for the past five years, also participated in the workshop.

“The AUC emphasized two main priorities that guided our discussions,” EUMETSAT International Relations Officer Vincent Gabaglio said. “The first was water as a source of risk, and the need for early warning related to floods, landslides and droughts, and the other was enhancing water resource management, which is key to meeting the needs of diverse communities.

“EUMETSAT and its SAFs can contribute Earth observation products, such as soil moisture, precipitation estimates and evapotranspiration products, to African experts to support their work in those areas.

“The objective of the workshop was to develop a roadmap for cooperation, to understand their needs and priorities and how we could support them.”

Gabaglio said the workshop identified four areas of work:

  • improving access to Earth observation data
  • facilitating scientific cooperation to validate satellite data products
  • strengthening capacity and exchanging knowledge
  • furthering engagement and deepening dialogue, particularly through the African Network of Basin Organisations

In relation to improving access to data, new PUMA-2025 reception stations, which will enable African meteorological, hydrological and climate experts to receive EUMETSAT satellite data and products and are about to be rolled out throughout the continent, will include functionalities to enable visualisation of H SAF products.

Consortia involved in the African Union Commission’s GMES and Africa and ClimSA programmes, both funded by the European Union and in which EUMETSAT is involved, indicated their interest to support product validation.

CNES’ LEGOS lab, which provides satellite altimetry products for measuring river levels, will also contribute to validation and capacity building efforts. Additionally, the WMO expressed its willingness to support training in this area in collaboration with EUMETSAT and its SAFs.

In September, EUMETSAT’s biennial Africa User Forum, this year taking place in Benin, will include a session on hydrology.