Geospatial data and web based tools for managing irrigation infrastructure expansion projects

Publication Name

World Water Policy


Improving irrigation infrastructure is important for sustaining food security in developing countries like India. The irrigation potential of a system is estimated at the planning phase using conventional approaches. A mismatch in the irrigation potential planned to be created and the land suitable for cultivation can lead to a gap in the irrigation potential created and utilized, making the scheme unrealistic and uneconomical. This study aims to use geospatial data and geographic information system (GIS) tools to identify land suitable for cultivation when planning an irrigation system. This study was conducted in Telangana State in India, where the projected irrigation potential creation was 5 million ha (Mha). It was observed that the total land suitable for cultivation in the state, considering the soil's topography, and physical and chemical characteristics, is about 6 Mha. Time series of average monthly Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) over a 10-year period was used to identify the critical blocks. The study illustrates how the geospatial data derived from remote sensing and recent GIS tools can aid managers in planning, implementing, and monitoring irrigation projects. The study also demonstrates how long-term satellite information can be used for regional prioritizationprioritisation for constructing irrigation infrastructure and postconstruction impact assessment. This study was conducted as part of the Young Water Professions (YWP) Training program, which allowed the participants to develop professional competencies and implement their learning in real-world situations.

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Funding Sponsor

Department of Water Resources



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