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EO-Africa multi-scale smart agricultural water management


ESA Contract No. 4000139550/22/I-DT

Period: November 2022 – October 2024


The AFRI-SMART objective is to investigate how sustainable agriculture can be achieved in the African continent under drought conditions, by co-developing innovative scientific EO-based and state-of-the-art modelling solutions together with African experts increasing their knowledge and capacity, developing an operative platform and database for results visualization and sharing with end-users.

The AFRI-SMART project will tackle this challenge in the Morocco country

Objective 1. EO-based solutions addressing sustainable agriculture and drought monitoring for Morocco:

-estimates of water availability and crop irrigation water needs under a changing climate, at multiple spatial scales at present and forecasted times

– Improvement of water management at national scale for present and forecasted water availability

Objective 2. -Agile development along all project phases to maximize the impacts and to guarantee that the final output is actually responsive to their necessities.

-sharing project approach and activities, defining the output indicators, customizing the web tool, so that their uptake will be easily promoted in the stakeholders’ habits.

-data repository and a web-dahsboard

Objective 3. integrated use of multiple earth observation data with hydrological – crop modeling schemes at different spatial and temporal resolutions (from SMOS soil moisture data to Landsat/ECOSTRESS land surface temperature and Sentinel2 vegetation information)


Coming soon!


Politecnico di Milano (Italy)

The team, within the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineer, is led by Chiara Corbari. The main research activities are related to water-energy balance modeling combined with remote sensing data and ground measurements for assessing continuous in time evapotranspiration and soil moisture estimates at pixel scale over large agricultural districts and fields. The land surface model has also been used to assess real time and forecasted irrigation water needs and crop yield for improving irrigation water management

University of Southampton (UK)

The team, within the School of Geography and Environmental Science, is led by Justin Sheffield. The group is world leading in research on hydrological monitoring, modelling and prediction including drought forecasting, river flood hydrology, and spatial environmental data analysis, with expertise in applications to agricultural, water resources, and environmental risks, including under climate change.

CESBIO (France)

The group, within the joint laboratory of Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), Université Paul Sabatier Toulouse (UPS), is led by Ahmad Al Bitar. The group has experience in remote sensing analysis for environmental applications, the understanding of the satellite signal and its interaction with the atmosphere and surface targets and the use of remotely sensed data to monitor and study the energy, water and biomass budgets at various space-time scales.

Chouaib Doukkali University (Morocco)

The team, within the Geosciences & Remote Sensing group, is led by Kamal
Labbassi. Their expertise lies in the use of remote sensing data and evapotranspiration modeling for improving irrigation management.

UNESCO Office for the Maghreb (Morocco) –

The group of the Section des Sciences Exactes et Naturelles, is lead by Mohamed Alaoui. The UNESCO Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (IHP), founded in 1975 following the International Hydrological Decade (1965-1974), is the only intergovernmental cooperation programme of the UN system dedicated to water research and management, and related education and capacity development. It addresses national, regional, and global water challenges, by supporting the development of sustainable and resilient societies


•Ministry of Equipment, Transport, Logistics and Water

•Regional Office of Agricultural Development of Doukkala (ORMVAD) and of Haouz (ORMAVH)

•Oum Er-Rbia Hydraulic Basin Agency (ABHOER)

•Moroccan Sugar and Refining Company in Doukkala (COSUMAR)

External support from the Institut Agronomique et Vétérinaire Hassan II (Morocco)

Workshop – Course – November 2023 – Morocco

The AFRI-SMART project team organized an intense week full of discussions on water resources management, smart irrigation, drought, hydrological forecasting and satellite monitoring, after one year from project beginning, from 7th to 10th November 2023. Our team discusseed with students, agency staff and ministry representatives of the water and agricultural sectors in Rabat, Morocco from 7th to 8th November 2023, and then visited the local office of Oum Er-Rbia river basin agency (ABOHER) in Beni Mellal and the agricultural irrigation office of Doukkala in El Jadida (ORMVAD and COSUMAR), on the 9th and 10th November.

The representatives of the Ministries of water and agriculture, and the regional water agencies staff of river basin and irrigation district demonstrated interest in having direct access in quasi-real time to high level information on water resources through a web platform for improving their daily decision-making processes at different spatial scales and decision levels.


If you have any question about AFRI-SMART or to request additional information, please contact us at

Chiara Corbari (POLIMI) – AFRI-SMART Project Manager

Zoltan Szantoi (ESA) – AFRI-SMART Project Officer