Open and accessible data platform on irrigation for Yemen

A first step towards an operational remote sensing based database for irrigation systems

Posted on 3 September 2014


With scarce water resources and an increased water demand of a growing population, the Yemen Arabic Republic faces the challenge to improve food security whilst reducing water consumption.

One of the main challenges is that no reliable datasets exist on water use, and the renewable water resources are also not exactly known. To support water management in Yemen, analytical tools for quantifying water resources are needed. Remote sensing can be useful in this respect. It provides objective information about agriculture and water use that can be reproduced at regular intervals. Remote sensing is especially useful in a country as Yemen, where few ground observations exist and with remote areas that are not easy to access.

The Netherlands Embassy in Yemen has provided a grant for a project to make available data using new analytical tools that will support the Yemini institutions with the planning of sustainable water resources. The project is a Dutch – Yemenite collaboration. 

Remote sensing processed image


The main objective of the project is to develop an accessible, cloud-based irrigation platform with key irrigation data, that describes and analyses the current irrigation systems in each water basin in Yemen.


The project consists of four key components (deliverables):

  • The establishment of a publicly accessible database. To ensure access to all stakeholders in the irrigation water sector, the data is made available in the cloud;
  • Analysis of the current water resources situation in Yemen which includes the calculation of the current area under irrigation (national irrigation map), crop water consumption, cropping intensity and an estimation of the current ground water abstraction for irrigation purposes;
  • Methods to easily extract information from the database by making  the data in the database available to the different stakeholders with tailor made and easy to use applications;
  • Capacity building in the form of workshops and trainings.


Current status
Active:  The project duration is from 1 November 2013 to 31 October 2017. 

Technologies used

Satellite remote sensing

Project location

Project partners

  • Alterra/Wageningen UR
  • eLEAF
  • HydroLogic B.V.