New technologies for supporting water resources management for a sustainable agriculture in the mediterranean and middle east regions

University of Naples Federico II Portici (Naples, ITALY), 9-14 June 2019

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the United Nations signed on 27 September 2015 considers water resources as main keywords in three Goals:

  • Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
  • Goal 6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
  • Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

The governance of water resources is horizontal to every development goal for the potential impacts on a combination of many important environmental, social, political, and policy drivers, such as global (incl. climate) change, population growth, land use change, economical and technological developments.

New technologies accelerate the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and in particular the exploitation of Earth Observation data in supporting long-term protection of water resources.

The course is organized within the framework of the activities of the project EOTIME (Earth Observation Technologies for Irrigation in Mediterranean Environments), funded by ERANETEMED, and the project AMED-Agenda 2030 and the Mediterranean (COINOR, University of Naples Federico II), under the patronage of the Working Group on "Earth Observation for Land and Water Engineering" of the CIGR- International Commission of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering" and the Italian Association of Agricultural Engineering (AIIA)-1st Section Land & Water.

Main objective

Students to get acquainted with qualitative and quantitative methodologies and practical applications for Earth Observation techniques related to irrigation water management at different scales of analysis, as well as to get acquainted on tools for computation of crops water requirement and irrigation demand. Through a complete analysis of a case-study, the students will gain hands-on experiences on advanced GIS and remote sensing tools for a better understanding of water management in agriculture.

Topics of the course

Day 1: Evaluation of water demand for irrigation from the farm to the basin scale: evapotranspiration and water balance models, water use efficiency, irrigation demand.

Day 2: Basics of Earth Observation techniques: principles of remote sensing, sensors characteristics, data availability, vegetation monitoring.

Day 3: EO-Mapping of irrigation: crop parameters estimation and assessment of irrigated area and crop water requirements by using Sentinel-2 and Landsat data.

Day 4: Evapotranspiration assessment from Earth Observation: actual ET mapping, surface energy balance, coupling soil water balance model with EO data.

Day 5: Irrigation water planning and crop water use efficiency: irrigation efficiency evaluation, examples and lessons learnt from actual case-studies.


The course will take place in Portici (Napoli-Italy) at the Department of Agricultural Sciences of the University of Naples Federico II, over five days with about seven hours per day of lectures and/or practice, distributed in morning and afternoon sessions. The course is addressed to graduate, post-graduate, PhD and post-doc students in disciplines related to Agricultural Engineering, Irrigation and Water Resources, Environmental Protection. No fees are required.

All lectures and class material will be given in English. Certified level B2 of English is required. 

Hotel accomodation will be covered for young participants (age<32) from Northern Africa and Near East countries, selected on the basis of their CV and marks. Travel expenses will not be covered.

A certificate of attendance will be awarded to all participants at the end of the course.

Admission and Registration

A maximum of 20 participants will be admitted. Candidates should send the application form by e-mail to:  

Prof. Guido D'URSO, Dept. Agricultural Sciences University of Naples Federico II:

The deadline for applying is on 30 March 2019.

Communication of acceptance and details on the course, travel and accommodation will be given by 15th April, to allow participant to proceed with VISA application (if required).

Lecturers of the course:

  • Alfonso Calera Belmonte, University of Castilla La Mancha, Albacete, Spain
  • Guido D'Urso, University of Naples Federico II, Italy
  • Nicola Lamaddalena, CIHEAM-Bari, Italy
  • William Kustas, United States Department of Agriculture, Beltsville MD, USA
  • Francesco Vuolo, BOKU University, Vienna, Austria
  • Jawad Al-Bakri, University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan
  • Marie Therese Abi Saab, Lebanese Agric. Research Inst., Beirut, Lebanon