EO4Water - Application of Earth Observation Technologies for Rural Water Management

EO4Water aims at improving methodologies to produce maps of crop water requirements at field and district scale by combining information from Earth Obsevation (EO) satellites and ground agro-meteorological data.

Short Description

In most parts of the world, irrigated agriculture is the main user of freshwater resources. Efficient water management is therefore of essential importance, especially where water scarcity is tangible and will be further stressed by growing urbanization and decreasing annual precipitation.

Current irrigation management approaches based only on practical experience and non-quantitative estimation tend to result in oversupply of water with consequent problems related to misuse of water and mobilization of nitrates. More detailed knowledge about the amount of water required by crops in different development stages and climatic conditions is needed to achieve rational water use.

The potentiality of Earth observation (EO) techniques in supporting the management of water resources is being widely recognized.

EO4Water focuses on the Marchfeld area, one of the major crop production areas of Austria with more than 40,000 hectares of irrigated land, and includes field experiments to validate methodologies and adapt them to local agricultural conditions. The project will offer innovative management concepts and tools to complement current investments in irrigation infrastructures – such as the Marchfeldkanal Project.

Economic Importance Agriculture accounts for around 30 per cent of total water use in Central Europe (up to 60 per cent in the Marchfeld area), and the overall water demand for irrigation is increasing substantially in Germany, France, Austria, and in Eastern European countries such as Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania. The socio-economic importance of irrigated agriculture is considerable.

There is a strong need and a potential demand for applications that support efficient water management. Space technologies provide tangible and substantial benefits. They help farmers and decision- makers to use and manage water according to real crop water requirements and thus to optimize production and cost- effectiveness. EO4Water opens up possibilities for technology transfer to other Central European regions and to the Danube river-basin area, which is of great strategic importance for Europe.

Project Partners


University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Institute of Surveying, Remote Sensing and Land Information - Francesco Vuolo


  • Betriebsgesellschaft Marchfeldkanal - Wolfgang Neudorfer
  • Adcon Telemetry GmbH - Bernhard Pacher

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