Agriculture is an important pressure on water resources and the relationship between water availability and food production is critical for a human population in continuous growth. The issue of water resources evolution is particularly acute in Mediterranean countries where irrigation can represent up to 80% of the consumptive uses of water. Developing and implementing practical measures and tools that support a more productive and sustainable management of scarce water resources is considered a priority at European level. IDEWA proposes the development of innovative irrigation management tools based on readily available multi-sensor remote sensing data that will allow monitoring: i) water use and drainage at the field and basin scale and ii) ecosystems impact.
Although poorly known or quantified, drainage actually is a key water flux controlling both the soil salinity over irrigated areas and the stream flow through return flows. IDEWA thus aims to explicitly include the drainage in the representation of the water balance of the crop field to the basin, in order to link water productivity, water quality and ecosystems preservation issues, and to provide a decision support system for managing them jointly. We propose i) to focus on two representative case and well-monitored study areas in the Ebro (Spain) and Tensift (Morocco) basins where the remote sensing monitoring tools can be demonstrated at the field scale and ii) to extend the results in terms of irrigation, drainage, water balance closure, and ecosystems impact at the basin scale using multi-sensor remote sensing (soil moisture, evapotranspiration, vegetation water status and water quality) data extensively. Dialogue with local stakeholders (farmers, irrigation agencies, basin agencies) in the selected study areas will allow for developing strategies to optimize the irrigation efficiency in terms of not only the water productivity, but also the water quality and its impact on river flows and ecosystems.
Monsieur Olivier MERLIN (Centre d'Etudes Spatiales de la Biosphère)
The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.
IMAA Institute of Methodologies for Environmental Analysis (IMAA) of National Research Council (CNR)
CESBIO Centre d'Etudes Spatiales de la Biosphère
UdL Universitat de Lleida
OE Observatori de l'Ebre
UCAM Université Cadi Ayyad de Marrakech
Help of the ANR 239,956 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: September 2020 - 36 Months