Water surface elevation timeseries reveals the rising water levels in Lake Tanganyika

Water levels in Lake Tanganyika, a source of life and livelihoods in adjacent countries across Eastern Africa, has been slowly rising since the beginning of 2021. Over the last few months, the water levels have reached record highs, severely exposing communities, and people along the coastlines to major flooding’s. The flooding’s have hit particularly hard in Burundi, a nation bordering the north-eastern part of the lake, where thousands of people have been displaced by the flooding’s. With water levels continuing the rise, tipping points are being reached in lakeside communities across the region, causing further displacement of people and destruction of property.
Under the umbrella of WorldWater, we have monitored the situation using water surface elevation (WSE) time-series based on altimetry data from ESA’s Sentinel 3- and NASA’s Jason satellites. The illustration below indicates the severity of the situation, as current water levels as observed over the last few months have reached peak levels in the last 30 years, now reaching 2 m. above median levels. The data illustrates the value of satellite-based WSE observations, as a synoptic and objective means to track and monitor surface water dynamics and document long term trends. This data provides valuable insight and information which can be used as early warning for future flood events as well as evidence to inform flood mitigation activities.

WorldWater Round Robin well underway

In January 2021 the WorldWater project launched an invitation for interested parties to express their interest in participating in a Round Robin inter-comparison of Earth Observation (EO) algorithms for surface water detection.

Valuing Water – World Water Day, 2021

The theme for the 2021 #WorldWaterDay is valuing water. We would therefore like to use this day to appreciate our Freshwater ecosystems, which are one of our most precious resources, providing people and societies with many important benefits.

Welcome to The First Issue of The Worldwater Newsletter

WELCOME TO THE FIRST ISSUE OF THE WORLDWATER NEWSLETTER In this first Newsletter you will find a digest of the latest project news as well as report on recent and upcoming activities and events. Please follow this space to stay updated and do not hesitate to get in touch for more information. Project highlights Developing […]

World Wetlands Day 2021

Wetlands are one of our most precious resources providing people and societies with many important benefits such as improved water quality, flood control, and recreational opportunities.

water related events to watch out for

8th Africa Water Week, 9th World Water Forum, Dakar 2021. Water Security for Peace and Development, World Water Day 2021, World Water Week, UN Biodiversity Conference (COP 15), Third UN World Data Forum


The new application project “World Water – Surface Water Dynamics” is now starting, with the goal of demonstrating how global coverage earth observation (EO) data can be used to systematically and accurately measure inland surface water resources.