Potential of using NOAA-AVHRR data for estimating irrigated area to help solve an inter-state water dispute

V. K. Boken, G. Hoogenboom, F. N. Kogan, J. E. Hook, D. L. Thomas, K. A. Harrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The states of Alabama, Florida and Georgia dispute the apportioning of water from rivers that originate in Georgia and flow through the other two states. Florida and Alabama often claim that Georgia uses more than its fair share of water. In order to address such a dispute, an estimation of the total amount of water used for irrigation by different crops is required. Current estimates of irrigated areas are subject to errors because they are based entirely on survey questionnaires. In this paper, the potential of Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) on-board the National Oceanic Space Administration (NOAA) satellites is examined for estimating irrigated area. Two indices, a widely used Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and a newer Vegetation Health Index (VHI), were regressed against irrigated area for 1986, 1989, 1992, 1995 and 2000 for selected regions in Georgia (Baker and Mitchell counties, and Seminole and Decatur counties). The average VHI during a period from the third week of February to the end of September was better related to irrigated area than the corresponding NDVI; R2 was above 0.80 as opposed to 0.49. It is concluded that the VHI, derived from three-channel AVHRR data, can be used to estimate irrigated area. By multiplying irrigated area with the application rate, the volume of irrigation used in a state can be determined, which can contribute to the solution of the water dispute.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2277-2286
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Remote Sensing
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 20 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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