Comprehensive inventories of existing national data sources
in all co-basin states prepared by national counterpart
• Development of a metadata catalogue listing web
based data sources of use for water resources planning and
management in the Nile basin. This concerns both public
domain and proprietary data. Main categories are topography,
climate, and socio-economic.
• Update national hydrologic and meteorological time
series databases and complete quality control exercise.
• Limited set of basin wide spatial layers compiled
from existing national and international data sources.
water resources data and socio-economic and environmental
information are needed to support informed decision and
policy making regarding the scarce Nile water resources.
A large number of datasets, databases, and data layers of
different nature and quality are hosted by a plethora of
national and international institutions, government agencies,
and projects. The project has developed a standard database
structure for time series data to ensure data consistency
and to facilitate data exchange. A common data structure
also serves to support the development of basin wide assessment
tools. A large set of hydrologic and meteorological data
has been quality controlled and transferred into electronic
format in the last years. Data remain the property of the
respective national institutions.
Developing consistent data sets for the Nile area is a challenging
undertaking. This is partly because the basin is so large,
with a surface area of over 3 million square kilometers.
Equally complicating is the multi-country nature in which
ten sovereign states share the Nile territory, each having
their own data policies, priorities, formats, and institutions
for data collection. Compiling basin wide data sets involves
reclassifying legends, reinterpreting information, and making
assumptions regarding the inevitable data gaps.
spatial layers is not the prime responsibility of the respective
Ministries responsible for water affairs in the Nile basin.
Their main trust is regulation and policy development. The
project, therefore, will no longer focus on digitizing maps
and preparing spatial layers from scratch. Instead, the
project will make an ongoing effort to identify and collect
existing information from national and international institutions,
and assess their application for informed decision making.
It will evaluate if basin wide layer can be compiled from
existing national and international data sets.
of National and International GIS Data Sources
and spatial layers in most Nile countries are typically
scattered across numerous projects, institutes, and departments.
In the majority of riparians no formal or informal structure
exists to compile and update an inventory of existing data
sources. The production of new spatial layers is rarely
coordinated. It is quite obvious that this situation increases
the cost of information and decreases the potential for
informed decision making.
While it is clearly not the mandate of the water departments
to serve as national data warehouse, they have a keen interest
in knowing what spatial and point information is around.
The project, therefore, encourages the national focal point
institutions to prepare and update comprehensive inventories
of national data sources. The inventories are broad in scope
to reflect the cross-sectoral nature of the water resources
issues. They include parameters like data source, owner,
location, accuracy, resolution, format, and projection.
wide analysis involving GIS are typically hampered by lack
of consistent and complete data layers. Fortunately, with
the growth of geo-informatics over the internet, global
and continental scale data sets are becoming increasingly
available. In particular remote sensing is providing satellite
images for traditionally data poor regions. The project
is preparing a meta-database of international GIS data and
assesses how they can complement the national databases.
By verifying legend-classes on the ground and incorporating
local expert knowledge, it makes an effort to increase the
range of application of public domain international data
of yet no mechanism exists for data sharing among the Nile
riparians. The issue has been brought to the attention of
the concerned officials and the Nile Basin Initiative Secretariat.
Pending a resolution on this issue by the Nile Basin states,
all data at the project office remain the property of the
respective Nile countries and will not be distributed to
any third party.