Combining Satellite and Ground-Based Data Improves Irrigation Management in South Mediterranean Region, Finds New Study
Combining satellite and ground-based data can significantly improve irrigation management practices in the South Mediterranean region, according to a study published in the journal “Remote Sensing” (Ouaadi et al., 2021).
The study proposes a method for improving the estimation of irrigation amounts and timing by assimilating satellite-derived surface soil moisture data into the FAO-56 approach. The researchers found that the assimilation of soil moisture data can increase the accuracy of irrigation estimation by up to 88%, depending on the irrigation system and crop type. Moreover, the proposed method can provide reliable estimates of irrigation amounts and timing even in the absence of ground-based data, which is particularly important in water-scarce regions where obtaining such data can be challenging.
Furthermore, the study highlights the potential of using satellite-derived soil moisture data and data assimilation techniques for improving irrigation management practices in the South Mediterranean region, where water scarcity is a significant challenge for agricultural development. Here, the authors suggest that incorporating soil moisture data into irrigation management practices can lead to more precise irrigation scheduling and better water use efficiency, resulting in higher agricultural productivity and sustainable development.
Overall, the study demonstrates the importance of using innovative technologies and data integration approaches for addressing water scarcity challenges in the agriculture sector and promoting sustainable development in water-scarce regions.
Within MAGDA, an irrigation advisory is also provided combining different sources of soil moisture data: satellite and ground sensors. This leads to a powerful combination that aims to provide an accurate irrigation service for the three pilot regions of the project in Romania, France and Italy.
Author: Amelia Fernández Rodríguez
Ouaadi, N.; Jarlan, L.; Khabba, S.; Ezzahar, J.; Le Page, M.; Merlin, O. Irrigation Amounts and Timing Retrieval through Data Assimilation of Surface Soil Moisture into the FAO-56 Approach in the South Mediterranean Region. Remote Sens. 2021, 13, 2667. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13142667
irrigation timing and amounts; surface soil moisture; data assimilation; particle filters; FAO-56; Sentinel-1; semi-arid Mediterranean region; winter wheat