Delineating shallow ground water irrigated areas in the Atankwidi Watershed (Northern Ghana, Burkina Faso) using Quickbird 0.61 - 2.44 meter data uri icon


  • The major goal of this research was to delineate the shallow groundwater irrigated areas (SGI) in the Atankwidi Watershed in the Volta River Basin of West Africa. Shallow ground water irrigation is carried out using very small dug-wells all along the river banks or shallow dug-outs all along the river bed. Each of these dug-wells and dug-outs are highly fragmented small water bodies that irrigate only a fraction of an acre. However, these are contiguous dug-wells and dug-outs that are hundreds or thousands in number. Very high spatial resolution (VHSR) Quickbird imagery (0.61 to 2.44 m) was used to identify: (a) dug-wells that hold small quantities of water in otherwise dry stream; and (b) dug-outs that are just a meter or two in depth but have dug-out soils that are dumped just next to each well. The Quickbird VHSR imagery was found ideal to detect numerous: (i) dug-wells through bright soils that lay next to each dug-well, and (ii) water bodies all along the dry stream bed. We used fusion of 0.61 m Quickbird panchromatic data with 2.44 Quickbird multispectral data to highlight SGI and delineate their boundaries. Once this was achieved, classification techniques using Quickbird imagery was used within the delineated areas to map SGI and other land use/land cover (LULC) areas. Results obtained showed that SGI is practiced on a land area of 387 ha (1.4%), rainfed areas is 15638 ha (54.7%) and the remaining area in other LULC. These results were verified using field-plot data which showed an accuracy of 92% with errors of omissions and commissions less than 10%

publication date

  • 2010