Regional data sets of high-resolution (1 and 6 km) irrigation estimates from space

Jacopo Dari, Luca Brocca, Sara Modanesi, Christian Massari, Angelica Tarpanelli, Silvia Barbetta, Raphael Quast, Mariette Vreugdenhil, Vahid Freeman, Anaïs Barella-Ortiz, Pere Quintana-Seguí, David Bretreger, Espen Volden

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Irrigation water use represents the primary source of freshwater consumption by humans. The amount of water withdrawals for agricultural purposes is expected to further increase in the upcoming years to face the rising world population and higher living standards. Hence, effective plans for enacting a rational management of agricultural water use are urgent, but they are limited by knowledge gaps about irrigation. Detailed information on irrigation dynamics (i.e., extents, timing, and amounts) is generally lacking worldwide, but satellite observations can be used to fill this gap. This paper describes the first regional-scale and high-resolution (1 and 6 km) irrigation water data sets obtained from satellite observations. The products are developed over three major river basins characterized by varying irrigation extents and methodologies, as well as by different climatic conditions. The data sets are an outcome of the European Space Agency (ESA) Irrigation+ project. The irrigation amounts have been estimated through the SM-based (soil-moisture-based) inversion approach over the Ebro river basin (northeastern Spain), the Po valley (northern Italy), and the Murray-Darling basin (southeastern Australia). The satellite-derived irrigation products referring to the case studies in Europe have a spatial resolution of 1 km, and they are retrieved by exploiting Sentinel-1 soil moisture data obtained through the RT1 (first-order Radiative Transfer) model. A spatial sampling of 6 km is instead used for the Australian pilot area, since in this case the soil moisture information comes from CYGNSS (Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System) observations. All the irrigation products are delivered with a weekly temporal aggregation. The 1 km data sets over the two European regions cover a period ranging from January 2016 to July 2020, while the irrigation estimates over the Murray-Darling basin are available for the time span April 2017-July 2020. The retrieved irrigation amounts have been compared with benchmark rates collected over selected agricultural districts. Results highlight satisfactory performances over the major part of the pilot sites falling within the two regions characterized by a semiarid climate, namely, the Ebro and the Murray-Darling basins, quantified by median values of RMSE, Pearson correlation r, and bias equal to 12.4 mm/14 d, 0.66, and -4.62 mm/14 d, respectively, for the Ebro basin and to 10.54 mm/month, 0.77, and -3.07 mm/month, respectively, for the Murray-Darling basin. The assessment of the performances over the Po valley is affected by the limited availability of in situ reference data for irrigation. The developed products are made available to the scientific community for use and further validation at 10.5281/zenodo.7341284 (Dari et al., 2022a).

Idioma originalAnglès
Pàgines (de-a)1555-1575
Nombre de pàgines21
RevistaEarth System Science Data
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 5 d’abr. 2023


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