February 2006- Responsibility for project realization is sub-divided across the AQUIFER consortium that includes African as well as European AQUIFER partners under the leadership of GAF AG.
The ongoing implementation of the project consists of three phases. The completion of AQUIFER phase 2 – the prototype phase – foresees now a review by all stakeholders and the subsequent necessary project adjustments before entering into the phase 3, which shall last till May 2007.
AQUIFER project now approaching the completion of its prototype phase can announce the following achievements:
- consolidated list of required AQUIFER products and services as a result of several meetings and intense discussions with the AQUIFER users on requirements and expectations
- prototypes products based on satellite imagery (limited in geographic coverage to the selected prototype areas) are generated and made available on the AQUIFER website. They are currently available for assessment by and feedback from the users.
- training and extensive on-site cooperation has been already performed with Water Management Organizations as well as Remote Sensing Institutes in Algeria, Libya, Mali, Niger and Tunisia.
- ground truth campaigns were performed by our partners in Africa with participation from experts from Europe
- programming and acquisition of optical and radar satellite data for the areas of interest is ongoing and to a considerable extend completed.
- in the frame of AQUIFER an ESA funded airborne campaign “AquiferEx” -performed by the German Aerospace Establishment DLR – has mapped 2 test sites in Tunisia with hyperspectral and radar imagery. This data which will be put to use in the following phase 3 of AQUIFER and will result in a refined land use / cover map.
- The AQUIFER website is established and continuously updated to keep the public informed on the aims of AQUIFER, its status of achievements, latest news and on future planning. In the internal section a forum is provided for information exchange and discussion among the more than 20 AQUIFER project partners.
AQUIFER is one of the demonstrator projects of ESA‘s initiative “Earth Observation for Integrated Water Resources Management in Africa”, known as TIGER. It is funded by ESA‘s Data User Element (DUE) programme. In 2004 the GAF team has been awarded a contract by the European Space Agency (ESA) to implement AQUIFER.
AQUIFER focuses on the development and demonstration of Earth observation based products and services for supporting national authorities and international institutions in the transboundary management of ground water resources. AQUIFER deals with two prominent, internationally shared aquifers: the SASS basin in the Sahara and Iullemeden basin in the Sahel zone. The AQUIFER project brings together national and international water management entities with remote sensing and GIS service providers from 3 Maghreb, 3 African and 5 European countries.
About GAF AG
GAF AG is an internationally active and renowned company with a lead competence and experience in applied remote sensing and spatial information systems. GAF AG offers a comprehensive portfolio ranging from procurement of geo-data (e.g. satellite and aerial imagery, digital elevation models), image processing, thematic mapping, GIS/DBMS applications and software development. GAF has a proven success record in performing turn-key technical assistance projects in the mineral and oil&gas sector and delivering customized geological information systems. GAF AG´s activities are run by the CEO Dr. Rupert Haydn.
(Credits GAF AG)