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Remote sensing for water productivity

About the programme

Achievements in earth observation science have indicated that nowadays it is feasible to determine key data on sustainable agricultural production on the basis of spatial satellite measurements, but a comprehensive methodology, both scientifically robust and effective at various scales is currently not operational.

The programme will assist the Member Countries of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in monitoring water productivity, identifying water productivity gaps, proposing solutions to reduce these gaps and contributing to a sustainable increase of agricultural production, while taking into account ecosystems and the equitable use of water resources, which eventually should lead to an overall reduction of water stress.

The programme will allow generating a solid and validated pixel based methodological framework to assess and monitor land and, more specifically, water productivity. By providing near real time pixel information, the methodological framework will open the door for service-providers to assist farmers in obtaining more reliable yields and improving their livelihoods. At the same time, irrigation authorities will have access to information to modernize their irrigation schemes and government agencies will be able to use the information to promote and increase the efficient use of their natural resources.

FAO will be responsible for the implementation of the programme, which will last until October 2019. The main partners for the implementation will be UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI).