Water Resources Management

, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 1499–1519 | Cite as

Remotely Sensed Methodologies for Crop Water Availability and Requirements in Precision Farming of Vulnerable Agriculture

  • Nicolas R. Dalezios
  • Nicholas Dercas
  • Nicos V. Spyropoulos
  • Emmanouil PsomiadisEmail author


Agriculture is mainly impacted by water availability. Differences in climate conditions and the appearance of severe events, like droughts, has a significant imprint on local, regional and global agricultural productivity. The goal of this paper is to present remotely sensed approaches for water availability and requirements in vulnerable agriculture. Earth Observation (EO) data contribute to precision agriculture for efficient crop monitoring and irrigation management. A drought susceptible region considered as vulnerable farming was chosen, in the Thessaly prefecture in Central Greece. Water availability is measured by means of precipitation frequency examination and drought estimation. Crop water requirements are measured by assessing crop evapotranspiration (ET) with the synergistic use of WV-2 satellite images and ground-truth data. The remote-based ETcsat is assessed by utilizing the reference ETo derived from Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) methodology, while the meteorological data and Kc are evolved from Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). According to the rainfall frequency studies, indicators demonstrate a significant precipitation decrease. The results reveal the importance of water availability estimation for facing agriculture water needs and the necessity for monitoring of drought conditions in a vulnerable Mediterranean area in order to plan an integrated strategy for climate adaptation. Moreover, the conclusions clarify the usefulness of collaborating innovative very high spatial and sperctral resolution EO images along with ground-truth data for crop ET monitoring and also the assimilation into the precision agriculture methodology which is valuable for optimal agricultural production.


Water availability Evapotranspiration Vulnerable agriculture Remote sensing Drought Precision farming 



A previous shorter version of the paper has been presented in the 10th World Congress of EWRA “Panta Rei” Athens, Greece, July 2017. The meteorological data were acquired by the Hellenic National Meteorological Service. Earth Observation data were provided by NASA. Research was funded by the INTERREG Illb PRODIM project, EU FP6 PLEIADES project and by HORIZON2020 FATIMA project. The authors would like to thank the editor and the reviewers for their constructive comments and valuable suggestions.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest



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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringUniversity of ThessalyVolosGreece
  2. 2.Department of Natural Resources Management and Agricultural EngineeringAgricultural University of AthensAthensGreece
  3. 3.SIGMA GeotechnologieMunichGermany

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