Universität Bonn

INRES Crop Science

Development and update of the Global Map of Irrigation Areas (GMIA)

Development of a global, spatial data set of irrigated areas


Irrigated agricultural land comprises less than one-fifth of the total cropped area of the world but produces about two-fifths of the world's food. At the same time, irrigation accounts for about 70% of the global water withdrawals and for about 90% of the global consumptive water use. In order to analyze irrigated crop production and the related irrigation water requirements at the global scale, a digital global map of irrigated areas has been developed which indicates the areas that are equipped for irrigation.
Main activities in this project are to update the Global Map of Irrigation Areas (GMIA) using new data on areas equipped for irrigation, areas actually irrigated, and on the source of irrigation water that have been collected during the last  years.

Persons in charge

PD Dr. Stefan Siebert


since 07.12.2009


Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), own funds

Cooperating partners

FAO, Land and Water Division


Siebert, S., V. Henrich, K. Frenken, J. Burke, 2013. Update of the global map of irrigation areas to version 5. Project report, 170 pp.

Siebert, S., J. Burke, J.M. Faures, K. Frenken, J. Hoogeveen, P. Döll, F.T. Portmann, 2010. Groundwater use for irrigation – a global inventory. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 14, 1863-1880, DOI:10.5194/hess-14-1863-2010.

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