The first GEOGLOWS business meeting took place in Tuscaloosa, Alabama USA, between May 16 and 19, 2017.
Faith Mitheu represented the SERVIR global network in the GEOGLOWS business meeting and gave a presentation on some of the tools, products and applications that have been developed. These products aid in relieving water and related disasters in Eastern and Southern Africa.
Faith is the Water & Hydro-climatic Disasters Lead of SERVIR Eastern and Southern Hub at the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD).
She said “SERVIR will also be sharing with the GEOGLOWS initiative the consultation and needs assessment tools that helped identify the user community and needs within the GEOGLOWS region and are developing demand driven services.”
The GEOGLOWS framework seeks collaboration and coordination in facilitating the use of Earth observations to address water shortages and excesses, as well as degraded water quality arising from population growth, climate change, and industrial development.
Analyses of the Essential Water Variables (EWVs) constitute the foundation of knowledge development, supporting water management decisions to minimize watershed and regional risk and to inform national and local policies to promote water sustainability. Such analyses are used to support capacity building through regional programs and alliances.
To achieve its objectives, GEOGLOWS strives to enhance observational programs, implements systems for data and product dissemination, innovate ways to make more effective use of data through applications and research, and promotes and implements free and open data exchange and GEO principles of data management.
The GEOGLOWS initiative aims to provide a framework for effectively mobilizing Earth Observation assets to contribute to mitigating water challenges on various scales and across different climates and landscapes around the world and to achieve this, GEOGLOWS hopes to work with TIGER (an ESA- supported initiative in Africa), SERVIR Global program and the user community of the NASA/DEVELOP Program and the NASA/USAID SERVIR nodes in Africa.
Information for this article is provided by Faith Mitheu (SERVIR ESA/RCMRD)