The Water Observation and Information System (WOIS) is an open source software tool for monitoring, assessing and inventorying water resources in a cost-effective manner using Earth Observation (EO) data. The WOIS has been developed by, among others, the authors of this paper under the TIGER-NET project, which is a major component of the TIGER initiative of the European Space Agency (ESA) and whose main goal is to support the African Earth Observation Capacity for Water Resource Monitoring. TIGER-NET aims to support the satellite-based assessment and monitoring of water resources from watershed to cross-border basin levels through the provision of a free and powerful software package, with associated capacity building, to African authorities. More than 28 EO data processing solutions for water resource management tasks have been developed, in correspondence with the requirements of the participating key African water authorities, and demonstrated with dedicated case studies utilizing the software in operational scenarios. They cover a wide range of themes and information products, including basin-wide characterization of land and water resources, lake water quality monitoring, hydrological modeling and flood forecasting and mapping. For each monitoring task, step-by-step workflows were developed, which can either be adjusted by the user or largely automatized to feed into existing data streams and reporting schemes. The WOIS enables African water authorities to fully exploit the increasing EO capacity offered by current and upcoming generations of satellites, including the Sentinel missions.
Remote Sensing, 2014, Vol 6, Issue 8, p. 7819-7839