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Improving Public Access to Transboundary Basin Data

April 30, 2014

A critical obstacle to improved water resources management in a trans-boundary context in Africa is the poor availability of even basic water resources information in the public domain.  Today, modern spatial databases and tools can help organize and visualize spatial and other information in an informative, interactive setting.  There, however, is a lack of well-designed and easily accessible online applications to access such data on international basins, it is increasingly becoming important to build and make publicly accessible a comprehensive knowledge base on water resources, energy, agriculture, climate variability and climate change, environmental, economic, social, demographic, and administrative indicators, water infrastructure, opportunities and risks.

The proposed activity will develop a highly interactive web-based Mapping Portal for all major international basins in Africa to improve public access to basic and important information for transboundary basins. This online mapping portal will serve as a knowledge base and a gateway to analyze available geospatial data for all major basins in Africa and linkages of management of water resources to agriculture, climate variability and change, socio-economic implications such as effect on livelihoods,  land use / land cover dynamics and vulnerability from disasters.

The portal will integrate a number of existing spatial datasets that should be of interest to providing overview of all key basins in Africa as well as specifically provide resources that would be of interest to those involved with water resources management. Scalable architecture would help establish easy data linkage between other portals or atlases in the future.