Satellite Irrigation Management Support With the Terrestrial Observation and Prediction System: A Framework for Integration of Satellite and Surface Observations to Support Improvements in Agricultural Water Resource Management
In California and other regions vulnerable to water shortages, satellite-derived estimates of key hydrologic fluxes can support agricultural producers and water managers in maximizing the benefits of available water supplies. The Satellite Irrigation Management Support (SIMS) project combines NASA's Terrestrial Observation and Prediction System (TOPS), Landsat and MODIS satellite imagery, and surface sensor networks to map indicators of crop irrigation demand and develop information products to support irrigation management and other water use decisions. TOPS-SIMS provides the computing and data processing systems required to support automated, near real-time integration of observations from satellite and surface sensor networks, and generates data and information in formats that are convenient for agricultural producers, water managers, and other end users. Using the TOPS modeling framework to integrate data from multiple sensor networks in near real-time, SIMS currently maps crop fractional cover, basal crop coefficients, and basal crop evapotranspiration. Map products are generated at 30 m resolution on a daily basis over approximately 4 million ha of California farmland. TOPS-SIMS is a fully operational prototype, and a publicly available beta-version of the web interface is being pilot tested by farmers, irrigation consultants, and water managers in California. Data products are distributed via dynamic web services, which support both visual mapping and time-series queries, to allow users to obtain information on spatial and temporal patterns in crop canopy development and water requirements. TOPS-SIMS is an application framework that demonstrates the value of integrating multi-disciplinary Earth observation systems to provide benefits for water resource management.