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Using Remote Sensing Techniques to Evaluate Lining Efficacy of Watercourses

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Sakthivadivel, R.; Amarasinghe, Upali A.; Thiruvengadachari, S.
Date: 2001
Agency: International Water Management Institute (IWMI), Colombo, Sri Lanka
Series: IWMI Research Report, no. 46
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/4105
Sector: Water Resource & Irrigation
Region: Middle East & South Asia
Subject(s): water resources
remote sensing
satellite image analysis
Abstract: "The cost of developing new irrigation potential is escalating. A low-cost alternative strategy of selective lining of watercourses to reduce seepage and increase irrigated area is being increasingly adopted in the Indian subcontinent. However, studies on assessing the efficacy of such lining are few. These studies have depended mainly on a few sample watercourses supported by limited water measurement and agricultural data, and their results are not conclusive. Satellite Remote Sensing (SRS) is seen as a cost-effective evaluation tool in view of its large area of coverage, which is synoptic and repetitive. The analysis of multiyear satellite data has enabled to evaluate the lining efficacy of about 30 watercourses located in the fresh, marginal and saline groundwater zones of the Bhakra canal command in Haryana, India. The lined watercourses together with concomitant groundwater development and use have sustained tail-to-head uniformity of water distribution even after 20 years of lining. The SRS technique can be used as a stand-alone tool in an environment where only small amounts of groundwater supplies are used to support surface water supplies. In areas with substantial groundwater supplies, isolation of lining efficacy will require additional data on groundwater support. The SRS technique is particularly useful as a screening tool to identify problem watercourses where field verification data can be collected for cost-effective and quick evaluation of watercourse lining. The cost of using this technique works out to only US$0.17 per hectare of the area served by the watercourses. This cost is based on the 1996 cost of satellite images, covering a geographic area of about 225 square kilometers."

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