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SPACE4IRRIG Tarn

Faced with global warming and increasing demand, particularly for agricultural irrigation, it is urgent to develop a sustainable and equitable water management strategy. This project will provide water management actors with indicators to improve their local knowledge as well as supporting the elaboration of effective water resource management strategies for the future.

OVERVIEW

In France, for the past ten years, many departments have resorted to water restrictions, particularly in the agricultural sector. This figure reached a record high in 2020, where 80 departments were subjected to drought orders. For instance, in the Adour-Garonne basin, the average annual temperature could increase by 3.5°C which implies major changes in hydrology with the transition from a nival system to a rainy system (Garonne study, 2050). Moreover, since the 1970s, irrigation has rapidly developed on all continents and is considered as an essential tool for maintaining economic performance. The FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) estimates that in 2025, 80% of expected food needs will be covered by irrigated agriculture. However, the use of irrigation has led to conflicts of use that are likely to worsen with climate change and future droughts.

Meeting this challenge requires a good knowledge of the available resources on specific  territories. Satellite images can play an essential role in this context. Until 2016, remote sensing images had temporal and/or spatial frequencies unsuited to the challenges of water management. This requires constant monitoring of surfaces at high temporal and spatial frequency. Since 2016, thanks to the Copernicus program, we have satellite images with high spatial (10 m) and temporal resolution (5 days with S2 optical sensors and between 15 and 20 images per month with S1 radar sensors) available in near-real time around the globe. This program offers new opportunities to meet the challenges of water management.

Irrigation d'un champ

© Getty Images

EXPERIMENTAL TERRITORIES

  • Watershed of the Tarn-Aval (81)
  • Durance Valley Watershed (13)

DATA

Satellite

Sentinel-1 & 2

Other

In-situ surveys provided by partners

RESULTS - FINAL PRODUCTS

Provided by MEOSS, a web mapping platform will provide a very high spatial resolution (plot scale) soil moisture maps, irrigated crops, and crop water requirements across the two experimental territories. These moisture maps will be updated monthly between 2017 and 2022.

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