Irrigation represents one of the most impactful human interventions in the terrestrial water cycle. Knowing the distribution and extent of irrigated areas as well as the amount of water used for irrigation plays a central role in modeling irrigation water requirements and quantifying the impact of irrigation on regional climate, river discharge, and groundwater depletion. Obtaining high-quality global information about irrigation is challenging, especially in terms of quantification of the water actually used for irrigation. Here, we review existing Earth observation datasets, models, and algorithms used for irrigation mapping and quantification from the field to the global scale. The current observation capacities are confronted with the results of a survey on user requirements on satellite-observed irrigation for agricultural water resources’ management. Based on this informa-tion, we identify current shortcomings of irrigation monitoring capabilities from space and phrase guidelines for potential future satellite missions and observation strategies.
- Soil moisture
- Water cycle