Remote-sensing data were used to estimate that 190,000 acre-feet of water was pumped from the Edwards aquifer in 1989 to irrigate crops in Uvalde and Medina Counties. Landsat digital satellite images for March and July 1989 were combined and classified to identify the areas of crops irrigated with water from the Edwards aquifer in the two counties. Normalized difference, the difference between the infrared and red reflectance values divided by the total of those values, was used to discriminate vegetative from nonvegetative ground cover. The images subsequently were classified using maximum likelihood, an unsupervised classification procedure. Detailed vegetation distribution maps of two calibration sites in the study area, and boundaries of the areas probably irrigated in 1989, helped to interpret the results and to separate probable irrigated areas from the rest of the image.
Results were verified using crop acreages reported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service (ASCS). The total areas for all irrigated crops estimated using remote-sensing data were about 8 percent higher for Uvalde County and about 4 percent higher for Medina County than the areas reported by the ASCS. Irrigated-crop areas subsequently were multiplied by the respective duties of water to calculate the total quantity of water pumped from the aquifer for irrigation. Pumpage did not differ for the two estimates of crop areas for Uvalde County and differed by about 3 percent for Medina County.
|Title||Evaluation of the use of remote-sensing data to identify crop types and estimate irrigated acreage, Uvalde and Medina counties, Texas, 1989|
|Authors||L.H. Raymond, G.M. Nalley, P.L. Rettman|
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Series Title||Water-Resources Investigations Report|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Texas Water Science Center|