Irrigation History Estimation Using Multitemporal Landsat Satellite Images: Application to an Intensive Groundwater Irrigated Agricultural Watershed in India
Groundwater has rapidly evolved as a primary source for irrigation in Indian agriculture. Over-exploitation of the groundwater substantially depletes the natural water table and has negative impacts on the water resource availability. The overarching goal of the proposed research is to identify the historical evolution of irrigated cropland for the post-monsoon (rabi) and summer cropping seasons in the Berambadi watershed (Area = 89 km 2 ) of Kabini River basin, southern India. Approximately
... e-year interval irrigated area maps were generated using 30 m spatial resolution Landsat satellite images for the period from 1990 to 2016. The potential of Support Vector Machine (SVM) was assessed to discriminate irrigated and non-irrigated croplands. Three indices, Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Normalized Difference Moisture Index (NDMI) and Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI), were derived from multi-temporal Landsat satellite images. Spatially distributed intensive ground observations were collected for training and validation of the SVM models. The irrigated and non-irrigated croplands were estimated with high classification accuracy (kappa coefficient greater than 0.9). At the watershed scale, this approach allowed highlighting the contrasted evolution of multiple-cropping (two successive crops in rabi and summer seasons that often imply dual irrigation) with a steady increase in the upstream and a recent decrease in the downstream of the watershed. Moreover, the multiple-cropping was found to be much more frequent in the valleys. These intensive practices were found to have significant impacts on the water resources, with a drastic decline in the water table level (more than 50 m). It also impacted the ecosystem: Groundwater level decline was more pronounced in the valleys and the rivers are no more fed by the base flow.