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Global map of irrigation areas
Area equipped for irrigation for year 2004 was estimated at
679 650 ha, consisting of 454 310 ha full/partial control
irrigation, 217 541 ha spate irrigation and 7 799 ha equipped
lowlands [YE01]. Area actually irrigated shows a high year-to-year
variability and mainly depends on the availability of irrigation water.
The highest area actually irrigated was reported for year 2007
(732 029 ha). To account for the increasing trend in irrigated
land, area equipped for irrigation was estimated for each province as
the maximum of area actually irrigated reported for period 2005-2009
[YE02]. Total area equipped for irrigation estimated this way was
813 951 ha as visible in the table below, also downloadable as PDF file or Excel file.
The irrigated areas were digitized using Landsat satellite imagery
[YE03], MODIS Vegetation Indices [YE04] and several large-scale
irrigation maps ([YE05]; [YE06]; [YE07]). The approximate position and
extent of the major irrigation schemes was detected based on the
large-scale maps, and their more precise extent was derived by
digitizing vegetated areas from the satellite imagery. The polygons
digitized that way were then combined with cropland extracted from the
Globcover regional landcover classification for North Africa [YE08] and
irrigated area was first assigned to pixels that were covered by both
data layers (digitized polygons AND cropland in Globcover) and after, if
required, to pixels covered by just one of the two layers (digitized
polygons OR cropland in Globcover). In the provinces of Al-Jawf and
Mareb irrigated land was in addition assigned to pixels classified in
Globcover as “Sparse vegetation (<15 percent)”.
Area actually irrigated was computed for each province as the mean of
the irrigated areas reported for period 2005-2009 [YE02]. The same time
series was used to distinguish the source of irrigation water. Areas
irrigated from springs and wells were assumed to represent groundwater
irrigation, areas irrigated with water from dams, reservoirs and from
floods were assumed to represent surface water irrigation and areas
irrigated with water from other sources or water obtained by cars was
assumed to represent irrigation with non-conventional water sources.
Total area actually irrigated computed that way was 668 504 ha (82
percent of area equipped for irrigation). 66.5 percent of the area was
irrigated with groundwater, 31.1 percent with surface water and 2.4
percent with water from non-conventional sources.
[YE01]: FAO. 2013. AQUASTAT country profile of Yemen, version 2008.
FAO, Rome, Italy,
[YE02]: Central Statistics Office. 2006-2010. Statistical yearbook,
volumes 2005-2009, section agriculture.
[YE03]: Earth Satellite Corporation. 2004. Landsat GeoCover (2000/ETM+)
Edition Mosaics, tiles 071-295, 071-296, 071-307, 071-308 and 071-317.
Sioux Falls, USA, USGS, http://glcfapp.umiacs.umd.edu:8080.
[YE04]: NASA, Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center. 2004.
MOD13Q1: MODIS/Terra Vegetation Indices 16-Day L3 Global 250m SIN Grid
V004. Enhanced Vegetation Indices (EVI) from 9 June 2000 and 17 January
[YE05]: Universität Tübingen. 1993. Tübinger Atlas des Vorderen Orients (TAVO), Plate AX1. Reichert, Germany, Wiesbaden.
[YE06]: United States Agency for International Development. 1993. Water
Resources Action Plan for the Near East, Figure 3. Washington, DC.
[YE07]: Achtnich, W. 1980. Bewässerungslandbau, p. 39. Stuttgart, Germany, Ulmer.
[YE08]: POSTEL. 2008. GLOBCOVER landcover classification, Version 2.2,
North Africa. Globcover database.
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