Monitoring evapotranspiration from space

14 July 2020

Water scarcity challenges, extreme drought and increasing competition for water are frequently featured in news headlines – a testimony to, and constant reminder of, the urgency of addressing global water issues. This urgency is further recalled by the United Nations through the adoption of the sustainable development framework in 2015, which includes a dedicated goal (SDG # 6) on water issues.

Tools to underpin optimisation of water use productivity are thus instrumental in order to secure sustainable water resource management and ultimately achieve SDG 6. DHI’s satellite-based methodology to derive reliable and timely evapotranspiration estimations at field level provides a vital instrument to support informed decision making of critical water resources. Our novel tool delivers essential information to support water use efficiency within several domains, including irrigation management, by providing an indication of areas where crops experience water stress, as well as water licensing schemes by providing a cost-effective and efficient means to do water accounting.

As a primary outcome of the development efforts conducted through the European Space Agency funded project Sen-ET, we are further evolving our evapotranspiration and crop water needs products into robust applications for water resource management. In a new EU funded project ‘NextLand’ we are exploring new innovative and operational services to strengthen the entire value chain of the agricultural and forestry sector. Through ET4FAO, funded by the @European Space Agency, we are demonstrating the use of our evapotranspiration tool to provide a robust and operational monitoring solution of agricultural water use at continental, national and local levels.

Concurrent to the implementation of Nextland and ET4FAO, we are exploring a number of commercial partnerships with major information providers to the agricultural industry as well as leading irrigation equipment producers.

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