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Article

Global Satellite-Based ET Products for the Local Level Irrigation Management: An Application of Irrigation Performance Assessment in the Sugarbelt of Swaziland

1
Water Science and Engineering Department, IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, 2611 AX Delft, The Netherlands
2
Water Systems Design Department, Microprojects, Mbabane H100, Swaziland
3
Department of Water Resources, Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), University of Twente, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands
4
Department of Environmental Sciences, Wageningen University and Research Center, 6700 HB Wageningen, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(6), 705; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11060705
Received: 31 January 2019 / Revised: 18 March 2019 / Accepted: 20 March 2019 / Published: 23 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing for Crop Water Management)
Remote sensing techniques have been shown, in several studies, to be an extremely effective tool for assessing the performance of irrigated areas at various scales and diverse climatic regions across the world. Open access, ready-made, global ET products were utilized in this first-ever-countrywide irrigation performance assessment study. The study aimed at identifying ‘bright spots’, the highest performing sugarcane growers, and ‘hot spots’, or low performing sugarcane growers. Four remote sensing-derived irrigation performance indicators were applied to over 302 sugarcane growers; equity, adequacy, reliability and crop water productivity. The growers were segmented according to: (i) land holding size or grower scale (ii) management regime, (iii) location of the irrigation schemes and (iv) irrigation method. Five growing seasons, from June 2005 to October 2009, were investigated. The results show while the equity of water distribution is high across all management regimes and locations, adequacy and reliability of water needs improvement in several locations. Given the fact that, in general, water supply was not constrained during the study period, the observed issues with adequacy and reliability of irrigation in some of the schemes were mostly due to poor scheme and farm level water management practices. Sugarcane crop water productivity showed the highest variation among all the indicators, with Estate managed schemes having the highest CWP at 1.57 kg/m3 and the individual growers recording the lowest CWP at 1.14 kg/m3, nearly 30% less. Similarly center pivot systems showed to have the highest CWP at 1.63 kg/m3, which was 30% higher than the CWP in furrow systems. This study showcases the applicability of publicly available global remote sensing products for assessing performance of the irrigated crops at the local level in several aspects. View Full-Text
Keywords: ensemble; sugarcane; Southern Africa; water productivity; remote sensing; CMRSET; SSEBop ensemble; sugarcane; Southern Africa; water productivity; remote sensing; CMRSET; SSEBop
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MDPI and ACS Style

Karimi, P.; Bongani, B.; Blatchford, M.; de Fraiture, C. Global Satellite-Based ET Products for the Local Level Irrigation Management: An Application of Irrigation Performance Assessment in the Sugarbelt of Swaziland. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 705. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11060705

AMA Style

Karimi P, Bongani B, Blatchford M, de Fraiture C. Global Satellite-Based ET Products for the Local Level Irrigation Management: An Application of Irrigation Performance Assessment in the Sugarbelt of Swaziland. Remote Sensing. 2019; 11(6):705. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11060705

Chicago/Turabian Style

Karimi, Poolad, Bhembe Bongani, Megan Blatchford, and Charlotte de Fraiture. 2019. "Global Satellite-Based ET Products for the Local Level Irrigation Management: An Application of Irrigation Performance Assessment in the Sugarbelt of Swaziland" Remote Sensing 11, no. 6: 705. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11060705

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