The Lower Sevier River Basin Crop Monitor and Forecast Decision Support System: Exploiting Landsat Imagery to Provide Continuous Information to Farmers and Water Managers
American Geophysical Union Conference, San Francisco, CA, USA
The last century has seen a large number of innovations in agriculture such as better policies for water control and management, upgraded water conveyance, irrigation, distribution, and monitoring systems, and better weather forecasting products. In spite of this, irrigation management and irrigation water deliveries by farmers/water managers is still based on factors like water share amounts, tradition, and past experience on irrigation. These factors are not necessarily related to the actual crop water use; they are followed because of the absence of related information provided in a timely manner at an affordable cost. Thus, it is necessary to develop means to deliver continuous and personalized information about crop water requirements to water users/managers at the field and irrigation system levels so managers at these levels can better quantify the required versus available water for irrigation during the irrigation season. This study presents a new decision support system (DSS) platform that addresses the absence of information on actual crop water requirements and crop performance by providing continuous updated farm-based crop water use along with other farm performance indicators such as crop yield and farm management to irrigators and water managers. This DSS exploits the periodicity of the Landsat Satellite Mission (8 to 16 days, depending on the period of interest) to provide remote monitoring at the individual field and irrigation system levels. The Landsat satellite images are converted into information about crop water use, yield performance and field management through application of state-of-the-art semi-physical and statistical algorithms that provide this information at a pixel basis that are ultimately aggregated to field and irrigation system levels. A version of the DSS has been implemented for the agricultural lands in the Lower Sevier River, Utah, and has been operational since the beginning of the 2013 irrigation season. The main goal of this DSS implementation is to provide continuous and personalized information to farmers and water managers regarding crops in fields and the irrigation delivery system throughout the irrigation season so that decisions related to agricultural water use can result in water savings while not diminishing crop yields.
Torres, A. F. and M. McKee. 2013. The Lower Sevier River Basin Crop Monitor and Forecast Decision Support System: Exploiting Landsat Imagery to Provide Continuous Information to Farmers and Water Managers, American Geophysical Union Conference, San Francisco, CA, USA, December 9-13, 2013.