This research shows a case from Jordan where geospatial techniques were utilized for irrigation water auditing. The work was based on assessing records of groundwater abstraction in relation to irrigated areas and estimated crop water consumption in three water basins: Yarmouk, Amman-Zarqa and Azraq. Mapping of irrigated areas and crop water requirements was carried out using remote sensing data of Landsat 8 and daily weather records. The methodology was based on visual interpretation and the unsupervised classification for remote sensing data, supported by ground surveys. Net (NCWR) and gross (GCWR) crop water requirements were calculated by merging crop evapotranspiration (ETc), calculated from daily weather records, with maps of irrigated crops. Gross water requirements were compared with groundwater abstractions recorded at a farm level to assess the levels of abstraction in relation to groundwater safe yield. Results showed that irrigated area and GCWR were higher than officially recorded cropped area and abstracted groundwater. The over abstraction of groundwater was estimated to range from 144% to 360% of the safe yield in the three basins. Overlaying the maps of irrigation and groundwater wells enabled the Ministry of Water and Irrigation (MWI) to detect and uncover violations and illegal practices of irrigation, in the form of unlicensed wells, incorrect metering of pumped water and water conveyance for long distances. Results from the work were utilized at s high level of decision-making and changes to the water law were made, with remote sensing data being accredited for monitoring water resources in Jordan.
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