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iWaGSS: Interim workshop and field trip to South Africa – April 27 – May 15, 2018


Following the „iWaGSS kick-off workshop“ which took place from October 17 to 18, 2017 we travelled again to the South African project area, close to the Kruger National Park for the next technical workshop. The trip took place from April 27 to May 15, 2018 and was a very intensive field campaign to collect ground data.

The field work of DIE GEWÄSSER-EXPERTEN! was focused on generating extensive and precise aerial images of the terrain surface. We used our drone Yuneec Typhoon H which allows us to cover a fairly big area within a short time and provides high quality aerial pictures. The data sets were finally allocated with calibrated fixpoints using a special software to generate photogrammetry 3D-terrain models.

On the site we were excellently supported by our South African partner SAEON (South African Environmental Observation Network).

During the joined field campaign with CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research) we used an ADCP (Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler). This active sonar which is assembled to a float, can provide and display data about the river ground as well as the flow velocity in various depths. In combination with the 3D surface shapes generated from our aerial images, we created very precise images of the examined streams and its surroundings. This enables us to generate profiles of the wetlands and water for the following modelling of U+Ö (Umwelttechnik und Ökologie im Bauwesen =  Institute for Environmental Engineering and Ecology).

Our cooperation partner KIT (Karlsruher Institut für Technologie) provided us with data about the sediment discharge within the retaining lake of the Olifants River. Drone supported aerial pictures of the shoreline showed fairly clear the changes and the silting during the past years.

Again, we were delighted by the unique nature and landscape. Its protection is one of the first desires for us as experts for water. We were more than impressed by the flora and fauna of this wonderful country. The warm welcome and the team spirit of all members of this trip showed us once again, how much our engagement for this project is valued. Our joined focus is to secure clean and healthy water for the entire region.

The target of our next fieldtrip in October 2018 will be to improve and optimise processes and determine further significant data via additional sensors, samples and high-performance drone technology. We want to deliver a comprehensive overall picture of the local terrain and waters within the project area. Our aim is to best support our South African project partners to secure a sustainable and environmentally sound water governance.

During the international conference we will present our up-to-date achievements and discuss further options and chances.

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