Two Mediterranean irrigation communities in front of water scarcity: A comparison using satellite image time series

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Abstract

Although a number of studies have analysed the methods to monitor crop water needs, the integration of phenological dynamics and irrigation using water stored in reservoirs has received little attention. This study is an example of such analysis applied to two irrigation communities (IC) located in a Spanish Mediterranean area, one with less water resources than the other, which it was carried out between 2002 and 2008. These years comprised periods of water surplus and water scarcity including the 2007-2008 drought considered by the Catalan public water authority the worst since 1944. The dynamics of maize, alfalfa, fruit trees and poplars were analysed using greenness and wetness extracted from remote sensing data. A statistical analysis was applied in order to find out the relationship between crop wetness and stored water. Results show that the IC used two methods for water-saving: crop substitution, by decreasing the area of maize, and timing the crop cycle, delaying or advancing sowing depending on water availability. In conclusion although one IC is drier in rainfall terms than the other, a similar crop wetness status was detected and no difference was observed between periods of water scarcity and water surplus. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-51
JournalJournal of Arid Environments
Volume98
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2013

Keywords

  • Catalan Drought Decree
  • Crop phenological dynamics
  • Remote sensing images
  • Stored water in reservoirs
  • Wetness index

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