Changes in agriculture are associated to the availability of resources and the economic and social demands. One of the more important transformations is to change rainfed into irrigated crops to increase the yield. In most of the cases, water resource and irrigation reservoirs are needed to maintain the yield. However, evaporation from ponds can be an important economic loss and an unsustainable strategy for water management, especially in arid and semiarid regions. Efficient methods for water storage should be established. In this study, a selected area located close to the city of Cartagena (Murcia) and the south of Alicante (Spain) has been studied, where there was an important transformation from rainfed to irrigated crops. Because of the high temperatures and insolation, the increment of the number of reservoirs detected by using remote sensing data and GIS tools may be inefficient for water management. The characterization of these reservoirs, to quantify the potential loss of water due to evaporation, has been done. The use of these tools for analysis could be interesting to find more efficient storage solutions (i.e., better spatial distribution of reservoirs, an increment of depth, and reduction of surface exposure) for improving the water storage and management.
Part of the book: Satellite Information Classification and Interpretation