Atlas of Water Resources and irrigation in Africa (CD-ROM)

FAO Land and Water Digital Media Series No 13
Rome, 2001
ISBN 92-5-104573-9
Price: US$40.00.

Background information
The Land and Water Development Division of FAO is developing a global information system of water and agriculture with the objective to provide users with comprehensive information on the state of agricultural water management across the world. Such a system should help to assess the role of irrigation in global food production and the relationship between irrigation and water scarcity. The system includes classical country-based statistics on all aspects of agricultural water management (water resources and use, irrigation, drainage, etc.), known as AQUASTAT, and a set of maps, data and models combined through a Geographical Information System (GIS).

Africa is the first continent for which the information system has been completed. This CD-ROM contains all the information collected and processed concerning the African continent, namely:
1. A set of digital tables and maps on water resources and irrigation at continental level and by river basin (major basins and sub-basins) resulting from simulations on the water balance model.
2. A set of GIS coverages and Avenue scripts on water resources and irrigation (Annex 1) intended for advanced users willing to adapt the model to their specific needs.
3. A georeferenced database of African dams in Microsoft Excel.
4. AQUASTAT country profiles for the 53 countries of Africa. The programme was partly financed by the Dutch Directorate-General for International Cooperation through the Associate Professional Officer Programme. The geographical modelling tool was initially developed with the technical assistance of the Center for Research in Water Resources of the University of Texas at Austin under the joint FAO/UNESCO project Water balance of Africa.

User requirements
This CD-ROM is intended for users who are interested in obtaining information about water resources, water balance and irrigation and drainage issues on a national, continental and river basin scale. The information is generally presented in the form of maps and tables which can be read with any standard Internet browser ("Netscape Navigator" or "Microsoft Internet Explorer"). In the text, references are also made to external websites which require an Internet connection.
Some of the maps are developed in a GIS environment. For this purpose, ArcExplorer, a free map viewing software developed by ESRI , is included on the CD-ROM. The program should be saved in a temporary directory and installed from there.
In the text, links have been made to so-called "ArcExplorer Projects" (*.aep files). These projects can be opened automatically when "Microsoft Internet Explorer" is being used as an Internet browser. If "Netscape Navigator" is being used, the projects cannot be opened automatically. In this case the *.aep file, to which a link has been made, should be opened separately in ArcExplorer. When the mouse is pointed to the link, the path to these files is displayed on the horizontal bar at the bottom of the browser window.
Advanced users willing to use the GIS coverages and modelling scripts for their own specific needs will find all the data used and developed for the preparation of the CD-ROM in Annex 1. The use of these coverages and scripts require ArcView 3.x, with the Spatial Analyst extension.