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Datum: 27.02.2018

COAST Project Workshop in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

From February 12th to 15th the Departments of Geography and Geodesy and Geoinformation of the University of Bonn organized the workshop “Estimating changes in water availability in West Africa using satellite and terrestrial datasets” in cooperation with the West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL) in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The workshop was part of the project COAST “Studying changes of sea level and water storage for coastal regions in West Africa using satellite and terrestrial data sets” funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and was conducted by Prof. Bernd Diekkrüger, Prof. Jürgen Kusche and Thomas Poméon, M.Sc., as well as Dr. Jérôme Tondoh, head of the WASCAL Competence Center and Dr. Aymar Bossa, also from WASCAL.

image1.jpgCOAST is a regional scale project in which hydrological processes in West Africa (about 3 Mio. km²) are analyzed and simulated using globally available data products. For model application, calibration, and validation, satellite products (rainfall, evapotranspiration, soil moisture, and total water storage) were used in addition to classical discharge observations. In the last phase of this project, the knowledge gained was presented to enable partners in West Africa to make use of the multitude of available datasets from spaceborne instruments for their research.
image2.jpgParticipants from eight African countries (Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Niger, Senegal, and Togo) took part in the four-day program. The first two days encompassed lectures and practical exercises focusing on remote sensing data formats, the R statistical programming language, radar altimetric measurements and GRACE total water storage estimations. Two further days were dedicated to the scientific program, where researchers from WASCAL and the University of Bonn held lectures about current research topics and participants were given the opportunity to present their work and exchange with their peers. Dr. Sylla from the WASCAl Competence Center talked about the “Role of Climate Models on Adaptation: Development of Climate Information”, Dr. Bossa about “Hydrological Information and Water Resources Management under Climate and Land Use Change in West Africa”, and Dr. Keita from 2ie in Burkina Faso about their investigation of the hydrological processes in a wetland of an experimental catchment in Dano, Burkina Faso. The presentations of the participants covered a range of topics related to climate and land use change impact on water resources and hydrological risks. They presented completed and ongoing research but also new ideas which are currently developing.

In the poster session, intensive exchange between the participants took place. Although the participants already partly worked together, the workshop was an excellent opportunity to develop a new network and to tighten the existing links between African scientists, the WASCAL Competence Center, and German partners. In the final discussion it became clear that there is a strong need for such opportunities, which on the one hand support capacity building and on the other hand support the close cooperation considering the burning topic of climate change impact on water resources.

Foto1: B. Diekkrüger

Foto 2: K. Sanoussi