Combining remotely sensed surface energy fluxes and GIS analysis of groundwater parameters for irrigation system assessment uri icon

abstract

  • Despite being necessary for effective water management, the assessment of an irrigation system requires a large amount of input data for the estimation of related parameters and indicators, which are seldom measured in a regular and reliable manner. In this work, spatially distributed surface energy balance fluxes and geographical information systems analysis of multiple groundwater parameters were used to estimate water availability, supply, and demand, in order to calculate water-accounting indicators. This methodology was used to evaluate the performance of an irrigation system in the Pinios river basin (Greece) at two selected years of high and low water availability. Time series of archived satellite images and groundwater measurements have been used for past years to support comparative analyses, due to the limited availability of actual water measurements. The resulting maps from the proposed methodology show that the performance of the irrigation system varied across space and time due to differences in its characteristics and changes in its operation, driven by fluctuation of water availability and the response of stakeholders to water depletion. Irrigation districts with unsustainable water management were identified and, together with those with slow and/or limited groundwater recharge, were brought to the attention of water managers. The observed differences in the system operation between the wet and dry years were attributed not only to the hydrological conditions of each year, but also to the changing behaviour of farmers and the improvement actions of the water managers
  • Despite being necessary for effective water management, the assessment of an irrigation system requires a large amount of input data for the estimation of related parameters and indicators, which are seldom measured in a regular and reliable manner. In this work, spatially distributed surface energy balance fluxes and geographical information systems analysis of multiple groundwater parameters were used to estimate water availability, supply, and demand, in order to calculate water-accounting indicators. This methodology was used to evaluate the performance of an irrigation system in the Pinios river basin (Greece) at two selected years of high and low water availability. Time series of archived satellite images and groundwater measurements have been used for past years to support comparative analyses, due to the limited availability of actual water measurements. The resulting maps from the proposed methodology show that the performance of the irrigation system varied across space and time due to differences in its characteristics and changes in its operation, driven by fluctuation of water availability and the response of stakeholders to water depletion. Irrigation districts with unsustainable water management were identified and, together with those with slow and/or limited groundwater recharge, were brought to the attention of water managers. The observed differences in the system operation between the wet and dry years were attributed not only to the hydrological conditions of each year, but also to the changing behaviour of farmers and the improvement actions of the water managers.

publication date

  • 2014
  • 2014
  • 2014