Monitoring groundwater resources in dry regions • Earth.com

Monitoring groundwater resources in dry regions

02-10-2021


Today’s Video of the Day from KAUST describes a new framework that will help monitor groundwater resources in arid agricultural regions like Saudi Arabia. 

“Groundwater is a precious resource, but we don’t pay for it to grow our food, we just pump it out,” said study lead author Oliver López “When something is free, we are less likely to keep track of it, but it is critical that we measure groundwater extraction because it impacts both food and water security, not just regionally, but globally.”

The researchers have developed a tool that captures details of water use on a regional scale or from individual fields.

According to López, this is the first operational system in the world for monitoring and modeling agricultural water use at such fine spatial and time scales.

The new technology combines data from weather and hydrology models, and also from the Landsat 8 satellite.

“Our framework has provided extensive field-scale estimates for 2015 that will serve as a benchmark for future comparisons,” said López. “We hope our model offers a consistent and reliable tool that demonstrates the impact of water management policies and drives future decisions.”

Video Credit: KAUST

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

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