Satellite Surveillance on Water Harvesting

New “Risk-Mitigation Strategies”

The search for stability of freshwater for crop productions is causing agribusinesses to turn to towards methods that can mitigate the risk for losing crops in times of water deficiency - increasing their use of irrigation equipment.

Irrigation plays a vital role in ensuring stability in production. However, a recent trend is emerging in agriculture - water harvesting - i.e., water storages (or private reservoirs) where water is pumped from the river or aquifer in a private lake-like structure.

Picture 1: manual count of farmlands/paddocks from MAXAR Technologies

Water Harvesting Imposes new Threats to Water Availability in Local Regions

Farmland is easy to detect from satellites - water harvesting is not. As paddocks often shows greenish colors, and water can sometimes endure algae booms also showing greenish colors, making it nearly impossible for water authorities to quickly scan satellite imagery to detect water harvesting.

Future “Value” is adding assistance to Water Authorities

This topic will explore options in automatically detecting water harvesting from various environmental satellites to help water authorities better prepare for an increase in water harvesting behavior seen from private agribusinesses in remote regions.

The objective is to quickly identify emerging water storages and alert local water authorities of a potential water use increase in a region.

Satellite networks:
EU Copernicus
MAXAR Technologies