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Sustainable Agriculture and Water Resources


The project objective is to assess high resolution irrigation water needs and crop water productivity based on the integrated use of satellite data, ground-hydro meteorological data and numerical modelling suitable for agricultural farms as well as large un-gauged agricultural areas. The project responds to the call Topic 5. Sustainable Agriculture and Water Resources – 5.3 Water resources and its utilization. This satellite data driven integrated approach is a necessary support to improve water management in intensive irrigated areas. In fact, agriculture is the largest consumer of water worldwide and at the same time irrigation is one of the sectors with the hugest differences between modern technology and ancient practices. Improving water use efficiency and water productivity is an immediate requirement of society for sustaining global food security, to preserve quality and quantity of water and to reduce causes of poverties, migrations and conflicts among states. Climate changes and increasing human pressure together with traditional wasteful irrigation practices are enhancing the conflictual problems in water use also in countries traditionally rich in water.The assessment of the main objective will imply the achievement of the following sub-objectives:i) Retrieval of Earth Observation (EO) products at different temporal and spatial scales combining ESA, Chinese, Copernicus and NASA information: land use and land cover, or crop classification map (sentinel 2, GF), soil moisture (SM) by SMOS or FY3 and high resolution SM by downscaling method, land surface temperature byFY3, Sentinel 3, MODIS, Landsat; ii) Calibration/validation/assimilation of hydrological models (the Italian model FEST-EWB and the Chinese model ETMonitor) using EO data of land surface temperature (LST) and soil moisture (SM); iii) Assessing high resolution soil hydraulic parameters using EO data and hydrological models; iv) Irrigation water needs and crop water productivity maps through the combined use of EO data and hydrological models; v) Product Comparison with Copernicus services, vi) Exportability to un-gauged sites simplified approaches based mainly or totally on satellite information.This will be achieved in the Work Packages (WP): WP1: Land surface variables from satellite observations; WP2: Development and improvement of hydrological models to estimate crop water and irrigation needs; WP3: Assessment/prediction of Irrigation water needs; WP4: Crop water productivity.The project partnership between Chinese partner the Aerospace Information Research Institute of Chinese Academy of Sciences (AIR-CAS) and the italian group of Politecnico di Milano is based on a consolidated collaboration experience since 2000 that was also reinforced thanks to the previous Dragon projects.The project activities will be based mainly on partnersÔÇÖ case studies in Italy (Chiese and Capitanata irrigation consortia) and China (agricultural areas in Shiyang River basin and Shandian River basin in Inner-Mongolia), and will be also supported by two other case studies in Spain (Barrax) and in Morocco (Sidi Bennour irrigation district) where common previous activities were developed. These intense cultivated and irrigated areas have been chosen for differences in climatic conditions, water volume availability, crop types, irrigation schemes and water distribution rules.The project deliverables will provide pixel wise irrigation water volumes and a series of ancillary products that will match the project objectives as described in the follows .The present project will be supported by a significant partners heritage projects as : EU PRIMA SMARTIES, EU ERANETMED RET- SIF, China DBAR program (Digital Belt and Road), China NBS-SY project (Nature Based Solution for Desertification Risk by MOST), led by the two present project partners in Europe and In China.


PI Europe
Prof.. Marco Mancini, Politecnico di Milano, ITALY
PI China
Dr. Li Jia, Aerospace Information Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, CHINA