Historical irrigation extent mapped for 1900-2005

Information on the historical evolution of irrigated lands is very limited but is needed for many applications, e.g. to study changes in hydrology and water resources, crop productivity, or surface energy balances. We developed the new dataset HID (Historical Irrigation Dataset) where we panned the extent of area equipped for irrigation (AEI) for 1900 to 2005 in 5 arc-minute resolution. To achieve that, we collected subnational irrigation statistics for this period from various sources and found that the global extent of AEI increased from 63 million ha (Mha) in 1900 to 111 million Mha in 1950 and 306 Mha in 2005. We used different rules to maximize consistency of the gridded products to either subnational irrigation statistics or to historical cropland and pasture datasets (presently HYDE and EARTHSTAT but other datasets can be implemented too).


The dataset and its documentation are made available in an open-data repository at https://mygeohub.org/publications/8 (doi:10.13019/M20599).

Reference to the article where dataset is described in details:
Siebert S, Kummu M, Porkka M, Döll P, Ramankutty N, and Scanlon BR. 2015. A global dataset of the extent of irrigated land from 1900 to 2005, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. 19: 1521-1545. doi: 10.5194/hess-19-1521-2015


New Mekong articles

WDRG group has published several new Mekong-related articles within the past couple of months, as listed below. Articles are available by request. All comments are more than welcome!

  • Johnston, R. and Kummu, M. 2012. Water resource models in the Mekong Basin: a review. Water Resources Management 26(2): 429-455.
    doi: 10.1007/s11269-011-9925-8
  • Keskinen, M. & Varis, O. 2012. Institutional cooperation at a basin level: For what, by whom? Lessons learned from Cambodia’s Tonle Sap Lake. Natural Resources Forum 36(1): 50-60. doi: 10.1111/j.1477-8947.2012.01445.x
  • Keskinen, M., Kummu, M., Käkönen, M., and Varis, O. 2012. [Synopsis] Mekong at the crossroads: next steps for impact assessment of large dams. Ambio 41(3): 319-324. doi: 10.1007/s13280-012-0261-x
  • Keskinen, M., Kummu, M., Käkönen, M., & Varis, O. 2012. Mekong at the Crossroads: Alternative Paths of Water Development and Impact Assessment Politics and Development in a Transboundary Watershed. In: J. Öjendal, S. Hansson & S. Hellberg (Eds.), Politics and Development in Transboundary Watershed: The Case of the Lower Mekong Basin, pp. 101-126. Springer Netherlands. doi: 10.1007/978-94-007-0476-3_6
  • Liljeström, I., Kummu, M. and Varis, O. 2012. Nutrient balance assessment in the Mekong Basin: Nitrogen and phosphorus dynamics in a catchment scale. International Journal of Water Resources Development 28(2): 373-391.
    doi: 10.1080/07900627.2012.668649

Guest lecture Jan 19th 14:00

Dr Stefan Siebert from University of Bonn will give a guest lecture on Thu Jan 19th at 14:00. The title of his talk is: “Intensification of resource use in agriculture – towards a multi-resources perspective”

Lecture is open for everyone interested in the topic. It will take place at Tietotie 1E computer room. Welcome!

More about the speaker can be found from here: www.uni-bonn.de/~ssiebert/

Best 2010 ERL article

A paper co-authored by WDRG researchers was awarded for the best article 2010 in Environmental Research Letters. ERL is one of the leading journals in the field of environmental studies.

Article citation: Kummu, M., Ward, P.J., de Moel, H., and Varis, O. 2010. Is physical water scarcity a new phenomenon? Global assessment of water shortage over the last two millennia. Environmental Research Letters 5: 034006. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/5/3/034006 [pdf]