Solidaridad and FutureWater partnered to conduct a tailor-made training on ‘Geo-spatial data skills development for improved soil water management and enhanced crop productivity at the national level in Zambia’.
The training project for the Zambia Agricultural Research Institute (ZARI) was a Tailor-Made Training (TMT), as part of the Orange Knowledge Programme, funded by Nuffic, and enhanced capacity in accessing and using innovative data and tools in the public domain, to analyse crop performance and improve soil water management.
Staff of ZARI and the Ministry of Agriculture were trained on a range of geospatial data skills, including survey design using Kobo Collect, and remote sensing environmental analysis using GIS, Google Earth Engine, Earth Map and InVEST. The feedback received from participants was very positive:
“The TMT is a well-developed program that provides important tools for brushing up one’s skills in data compilation and analysis. The program materials are easy to go through and the instructors were friendly and easygoing. The training package included a good set of free and open-source tools for a wide variety of purposes, including; Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) assessments, monitoring agricultural land and urban areas and exploring how changes in ecosystems can lead to changes in the flows of many different benefits to people. The knowledge and insights provided in the TMT program are well delivered”
Chrispin Moyo Principal Agricultural Specialist Ministry of Agriculture Zambia
“This course gave me a good understanding of the applications of GIS and remote sensing in soil and water management. I’m particularly excited about the opportunity to quantify the benefits which regenerative agricultural practices would have on degraded environments using the InVEST tool. This was one of my best learning experiences and I can’t thank the organisers and trainers enough. Thank you to FutureWater, Solidaridad and Nuffic for a well-tailored and excellently delivered training.”
Belinda Kaninga (Ph.D) Senior Research Officer/Soil Scientist Zambia Agriculture Research Institute (ZARI)
More information about the project can be found here.
Over recent months, FutureWater has begun working with the Nature for Water facility to provide technical support to the development of watershed investment programmes globally. The facility aims to provide technical assistance to local “champions” who are developing Watershed Investment Programmes (or Water Funds) in their respective catchments. The facility aims to expedite the delivery of Nature-Based Solutions (NbS) by supporting burgeoning Water Funds to maturity via the provision of expert knowledge relating to the implementation of NbS for water security challenges.
FutureWater’s role in the facility will be to provide experts that can work as Science Technical Leads for Water Funds, helping to (co)develop modelling tools and data-driven assessment methodologies which help better understand water security challenges and prioritise NbS to address these. This partnership is the result of multiple projects FutureWater have worked on over the years, including: Hydrologic modelling and economic valuation of investment options for the Nairobi Water Fund; and a Design Study for the Mombasa Water Fund. The technical expertise developed in these projects on modelling the impact and financial viability of portfolios of NbS will be used to create effective portfolios of NbS which can attract funding from a range of sources for implementation. This sees FutureWater join a pool of experts at the cutting edge of technical work on NbS.
The first engagement that FutureWater have taken part in is the Technical Coordination of the Norfolk Water Fund. In this work, Jack Beard has been supporting local partners to develop GIS and modelling approaches to prioritise the implementation of Nature-based Solutions across several catchments in the area, with an aim of addressing emergent water quality and quantity issues.
We are hugely proud to be supporting this critical work and to continue our collaborations with the Nature Conservancy. Here’s to helping restore ecosystems and putting nature at the heart of water resources management!
To facilitate the needs of ZIPAK, this training aims to build data-driven capacities relevant to sustainable nature conservation practices and ecosystem-based natural resources management in Iran:
Leveraging the Climate Change Knowledge Portal (CCKP) for performing climate risk and vulnerability assessments
Leveraging the online dashboard Earth Map for environmental hazard mapping and socio-economic risk assessments
Applying the InVest model (Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs) for assessing ecosystem service provision
The training focuses on knowledge and skills development and how how to meaningfully integrate these capabilities into ZIPAK’s objectives on sustainable management of the environment and natural resources.
The beneficiaries of this training, provided by FutureWater together with Solidaridad, belong to the Zambia Agricultural Research Institute (ZARI).
ZARI is a department within the Ministry of Agriculture of Zambia with the overall objective to provide a high quality, appropriate and cost-effective service to farmers, generating and adapting crop, soil and plant protection technologies. This department comprises a number of sections, one of which, for the purpose of this training request is the Soil and Water Management (SWM) division. ZARI and the SWM carry out demand-driven research, trying to find solutions to the problems faced by Zambian small-scale farmers, especially considering the near- and long-term impacts of climate change.
The training programme consists of a hybrid approach of e-learning and in-person training sessions and is structured around the following modules:
Remote sensing-based analysis using Google Earth Engine to assess trends in land use, management, degradation and hotspots for intervention.
Data collection and database management.
GIS and remote sensing to assess suitability for SWC.
Effectiveness and prioritization of SWC using open-source tools.
Independent working on case study.
At the end of the training, it is expected that participants have achieved several objectives such as acquisition of technical skills for extracting relevant data from open access remote sensing products and improved knowledge of data collection and database management.
The practice of using remote sensing imagery is becoming more widespread. However, the suitability of satellite or flying sensor imagery needs to be evaluated by location. Satellite imagery is available at different price ranges and is fixed in terms of spatial and temporal resolution.
TerraFirma, an organization in Mozambique with the task to map and document land rights, hired FutureWater, HiView and ThirdEye Limitada (Chimoio, Mozambique) to acquire flying sensor imagery over a pilot area near Quelimane, Mozambique. The objective of this pilot project is to determine the suitability of using flying sensor imagery for cadastre mapping in an area of small-scale agriculture in Mozambique.
Flying sensor imagery is adaptable and can be deployed at any requested time. The suitability of these remote sensing approaches is piloted in this study for a small-scale agricultural area in Mozambique. A pilot area is used as case study with flights made during a period of a few days in December 2020, by local flying sensor (drone) operators in Mozambique (ThirdEye Limitada).
The flying sensor imagery was acquired over the period of a few days in December 2020, for a total area of 1,120 hectares. This imagery was used as input for various algorithms that can be suitable for classification and segmentation, namely R packages (kmeans, canny edges, superpixels, contours), QGIS GRASS segmentation package, and ilastik software. This study shows some initial results of using flying sensor imagery in combination with these algorithms. In addition, comparison is made with high resolution satellite imagery (commercial and publicly available) to indicate the differences in processing and results.
With the conclusions from this pilot project, next steps can be made in using flying sensor imagery or high resolution satellite imagery for small-scale agriculture in Mozambique. The time and effort needed for the delineation of field boundaries can be largely reduced by using remote sensing imagery and algorithms for automatic classification and segmentation.
Water Funds are a well-established model for facilitating collective action to address water security challenges through the implementation of nature-based solutions (NBS) as a complement for more traditional so-called ‘grey’ infrastructure such as pipelines and treatment plants. This assignment represents the first of many engagements in which FutureWater are employed through an umbrella agreement with the Nature for Water Facility. Via this agreement, FutureWater staff can be assigned as technical experts to help develop and direct the implementation of Water Funds across the world.
The objectives of the Norfolk Water Fund is to secure good quality, long-term water resources for all water users, while protecting the environment and showcasing the county as an international exemplar for collaborative water management. The programme seeks to demonstrate how cross-sector, integrated water management and can deliver multiple benefits and help achieve the county’s net zero targets. FutureWater’s role to date has included: developing a methodology to spatially characterise water security challenges across Norfolk; providing mapping and content inputs to a pre-feasibility report on the potential for NbS to deliver against water-related objectives; delivering a portal to show delivery of NbS projects; helping coordinate a stakeholder engagement event; and more recently, the development of reference material for a call for projects.
Geodata tools have been developing rapidly in the past years and are vastly adopted by researchers and increasingly by policy-makers. However, the is still great potential to increase the practical application of these tools in the agricultural sector, which is currently applied by a limited number of ‘pioneering’ farmers. The information that can be gained from geodata tools on irrigation management, pest and nutrient management, and crop selection, is a valuable asset for farmers. Key players for providing such information to the farmers are the extensions officers. This project aims at training extension officers in the use of these geodata tools. The beneficiaries in Egypt are: Tamkeen for Advanced Agriculture, FAODA, IDAM, Bio-Oasis, and LEPECHA. The selected participants will receive a training programme which consists firstly of several session on the background and theory of the geodata tools, provided through our online teaching platform (futurewater.moodle.school). Starting from May (2021) field schools will be set up to use the geodata tools for decision-making in these demonstration plots. In addition, modules are taught on the quality of the data, and profitability of such tools. Altogether, a group of carefully selected participants will receive training on these innovative tools and create a bridge to providing this information to farmers specifically the smallholder farmers.
Morocco is a country with extremely arid areas and a complex topography. The majority of climate change related studies predict increases in temperature and generalised decreases in precipitation, however the outputs of these studies are limited in that the resolution of the climate models used is relatively low and therefore often does not pick up variation over areas of complex topography (in which much of the population live). This study therefore helps generate a higher resolution, bias corrected climate dataset. It is also important that trends in precipitation, and more importantly drought, are better understood as Morocco is highly vulnerable to water scarcity. This study therefore focuses on the impacts of climate change on extreme low precipitation, which is directly linked to water shortages and drought events. The study adds valuable new insights to climate change impact analysis in Morocco and is the first to use downscaled climate data to focus on sector wise impact. The data outputs will be located at a number of universities and government ministries in Morocco.
The Sous-Massa basin is located in central Morocco. It represents an arid area that will likely face water resources challenges into the coming decades due to the influence of climate change and socioeconomic development. Indeed, increases in temperatures and decreases in precipitation are anticipated in the Sous-Massa region, alongside more extreme intense precipitation and drought events. It is therefore important the the impacts of climate change on water availability are better constrained to target resilience measures and better prepare for potential future water scarcity.
With the results of this project, IMWI will be able to apply the Water Accounting Plus framework to the Sous-Massa basin, helping to better constrain the likely impacts of climate change on future water availability. This project therefore helps support the targeting and prioritisation of climate resilient interventions which can be taken by the government and other members of the water sector in this area of Morocco.
The Paris Agreement requests each country to outline and communicate their post-2020 climate actions, known as their NDCs. These embody efforts by each country to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. As ratifying parties, Armenia, Georgia and Uzbekistan must therefore outline how they intend to implement their NDCs and provide information on what the focus of this spending will be. To support this effort, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) is implementing a knowledge and support technical assistance cluster which will help enhance capacities of developing member countries (DMCs) in meeting their climate objectives by assisting in refining and translating nationally determined contributions (NDCs) into climate investment plans.
In this work package, ADB aims to support Georgia, Armenia, and Uzbekistan with the implementation of their NDCs through developing urban climate assessments (UCAs) and mainstreaming low carbon and climate resilience measures into urban planning processes. FutureWater contributed to this effort by supporting knowledge creation in relation to climate change and adaptation which will help each country to make more informed climate investment decisions.This was accomplished by conducting analysis of downscaled climate model ensembles for different climate change scenarios and synthesising data related to urban climate risk.
Climate change trend assessments were conducted using the NASA-NEX downscaled climate model ensemble combined with ERA-5 climate reanalysis products. To determine climate risk at the urban level, a number of openly available datasets were analysed and compiled using a spatial aggregation approach for 16 cities in the area. Results were presented as user-friendly climate risk profiles at the national and urban scales, allowing for insights into climate trends and risks over the coming century. These will be presented to non-expert decision makers to help support Armenia, Georgia and Uzbekistan develop targeted and informed NDCs.