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A European irrigation map for spatially distributed agricultural modelling


  • Wriedt, Gunter
  • van der Velde, Marijn
  • Aloe, Alberto
  • Bouraoui, Fayal


We present a pan-European irrigation map based on regional European statistics, a European land use map and a global irrigation map. The map provides spatial information on the distribution of irrigated areas per crop type which allows determining irrigated areas at the level of spatial modelling units. The map is a requirement for a European scale assessment of the impacts of irrigated agriculture on water resources based on spatially distributed modelling of crop growth and water balance. The irrigation map was compiled in a two step procedure. First, irrigated areas were distributed to potentially irrigated crops at a regional level (European statistical regions NUTS3), combining Farm Structure Survey (FSS) data on irrigated area, crop-specific irrigated area for crops whenever available, and total crop area. Second, crop-specific irrigated area was distributed within each statistical region based on the crop distribution given in our land use map. A global map of irrigated areas with a 5' resolution was used to further constrain the distribution within each NUTS3 based on the density of irrigated areas. The constrained distribution of irrigated areas as taken from statistics to a high resolution dataset enables us to estimate irrigated areas for various spatial entities, including administrative, natural and artificial units, providing a reasonable input scenario for large-scale distributed modelling applications. The dataset bridges a gap between global datasets and detailed regional data on the distribution of irrigated areas and provides information for various assessments and modelling applications.

Suggested Citation

  • Wriedt, Gunter & van der Velde, Marijn & Aloe, Alberto & Bouraoui, Fayal, 2009. "A European irrigation map for spatially distributed agricultural modelling," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 96(5), pages 771-789, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:agiwat:v:96:y:2009:i:5:p:771-789

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Fortes, P.S. & Platonov, A.E. & Pereira, L.S., 2005. "GISAREG--A GIS based irrigation scheduling simulation model to support improved water use," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 77(1-3), pages 159-179, August.
    2. Maton, L. & Leenhardt, D. & Goulard, M. & Bergez, J.-E., 2005. "Assessing the irrigation strategies over a wide geographical area from structural data about farming systems," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 86(3), pages 293-311, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Balkovič, Juraj & van der Velde, Marijn & Schmid, Erwin & Skalský, Rastislav & Khabarov, Nikolay & Obersteiner, Michael & Stürmer, Bernhard & Xiong, Wei, 2013. "Pan-European crop modelling with EPIC: Implementation, up-scaling and regional crop yield validation," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 61-75.
    2. N. Maier & J. Dietrich, 2016. "Using SWAT for Strategic Planning of Basin Scale Irrigation Control Policies: a Case Study from a Humid Region in Northern Germany," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 30(9), pages 3285-3298, July.
    3. Neumann, Kathleen & Stehfest, Elke & Verburg, Peter H. & Siebert, Stefan & Müller, Christoph & Veldkamp, Tom, 2011. "Exploring global irrigation patterns: A multilevel modelling approach," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 104(9), pages 703-713.


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