Monitor agricultural water productivity to enable food security

There is a rising demand for crops globally, and at the same time, there is an enormous pressure on water resources. It is therefore crucial to monitor how efficiently farmers are using the available water. 

In orde to monitor to monitor agricultural water productivity in near real time, the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) setup a programme to develop WaPOR, the Water Productivity Open-acces portal

WaPOR is an online platform which allows you monitor and report on agriculture water productivity over Africa and the Near East which. Via WaPOR you are able to:

  • Monitor water productivity
  • Identify water productivity gaps
  • Propose solutions to reduce water productivity gaps
  • Contribute to a sustainable increase of agricultural production


‚ÄčWaPOR is an open access database which consist remote sensing data at three different levels, continental data (250m), country / river basin (100m), and irrigation scheme / sub-basin.

VITO Remote Sensing is responsible for the production for the remote sensing data on precipitation, biomass production, phenology and crop cycles. In addition, land use\land cover maps are produced, including information on irrigated/rainfed croplands as well as crop type for three crops (Maize, wheat and rice). Information on the water use of the vegetation (actual and reference evapotranspiration) is provided by the partner eLEAF from Wageningen. With these variables, the water productivity can be derived.

WaPOR is setup in partnership with eLEAF, ITC, the University of Twente, the Waterwatch Foundation and VITO Remote Sensing, in coordination of FAO.

Laurent Tits, R&D Project Manager Agriculture, explains more in a blog story 'Monitoring water use in agriculture from space'.