Quantifying the Hydrological Impacts of Irrigation on a Mediterranean Agricultural Context Through Explicit Satellite-Derived Irrigation Estimates

J. Dari, P. Quintana-Seguí, A. Barella-Ortiz, M. Rahmati, C. Saltalippi, A. Flammini, L. Brocca

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Resum

Water budget over anthropized basins is profoundly altered by human interventions, among which irrigation prevails. This study investigates how such water use affects hydrological flux and state variables by comparing two SURFEX/ISBA (SURFace EXternalisée/Interaction Sol Biosphère Atmosphère) Land Surface Model simulations performed over a portion of the Ebro basin (Spain) that includes a heavily irrigated area. The first simulation is forced by atmospheric input only, while the second one is fed with atmospheric forcing plus remote sensing-derived irrigation amounts added to the liquid precipitation. Four main hydrological output variables are compared under the two configurations: surface soil moisture (SM), total evaporative flux (i.e., the sum of components from bare soil and vegetation) (E), drainage, and runoff. Results indicate that SM and E are the variables mostly impacted during the main watering season. Considering mean daily rates per each month, a maximum increase of +30% and of +220% is found over the irrigation districts in July for SM and E, respectively. The reliability of the results is supported by comparisons with satellite evapotranspiration data from MODIS (MODerate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer). The inclusion of irrigation reduces the RMSE between monthly anomalies of modeled E and of MODIS reference data by 41% during the main watering season. Further validation through wavelet coherence analysis is also proposed. This study sheds light on the potential of explicit satellite-derived irrigation water use data that, when integrated into modeling platforms, allow us to track and quantify anthropogenic impacts on water resources.

Idioma originalAnglès
Número d’articlee2023WR036510
RevistaWater Resources Research
Volum60
Número5
DOIs
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - de maig 2024

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