The European Space Agency’s (ESA) TIGER II initiative has selected 20 project proposals across Africa to receive support from Earth-observation technology to learn more about the water cycle and to improve water-monitoring resources.

TIGER II is based on the results and achievements of its precursor TIGER I, which sought to help African countries overcome water problems and to bridge Africa's water information gap using Earth-observation (EO) technology.

Under TIGER I, EO techniques and methods were adapted to specific user needs and local conditions in close collaboration with African partners, such as the Lake Chad Basin Commission, the Observatoire du Sahara et du Sahel in Tunis, the Centre Royal de Télédétection Spatiale in Morocco, the Zambian Water Authorities and the Regional Centre for Mapping Resources for Development (RCMRD) in Nairobi. Projects focused on different aspects of water management including catchments characterization, water quality, ground water exploration, soil moisture and irrigated agriculture monitoring.

A major component of TIGER II is devoted to supporting African scientists, technical centers and water authorities to develop the scientific skills and the technical capacity to make the best use of EO technology to understand better, assess and monitor the status of the water resources in Africa. The initiative also is devoted to supporting the African partners to gain a better understanding of how EO may help assess the potential impacts of climate change on water resources, and thus to establish a sound scientific basis for developing effective adaptation and mitigation measures across the continent.

The proposals selected for TIGER II, spanning some 13 African countries, include sustainable water use, flooding patterns, water quality monitoring, sedimentation modeling, ground water resource assessment, hydrological and environmental aspects of wetlands and climate change impacts, among many others.

These projects will benefit from free access to EO data, software tools and scientific advice from international experts, as well as dedicated training and research stages in expert laboratories, support for participation in postgraduate courses and publishing scientific results.

TIGER is an international endeavor that contributes to the strategy of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) and involves the contributions of UNESCO (the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), the Canadian Space Agency and the African Ministerial Council on Water (AMCOW).