A Netherlands-based partnership between WaterWatch and Basfood, two providers of geo-information services, has yielded a new worldwide source for data on water and vegetation on land surfaces. The mission of eLEAF is to support sustainable use of water, to increase food production, and to protect the environment.
The water information service combines more than 50 data components to provide weekly updates of biomass production, water productivity, CO2 intake, and more. The data is also analyzed to assess water use at regional and local scales to inform management options and strategies.
There are three primary map products of the service:
Evapotranspiration (ET) Maps – detail both beneficial transpiration and non-beneficial evaporation to show the intensity of water use, estimate water requirements for agro-ecosystems, monitor and enforce water rights, identify possible water savings, monitor drought, improve water balances.
Land Use Maps – detail the extent of different land use classes from agricultural, forest, water, cities, etc. The combination of ET and land use maps shows areas where water consumption can and cannot be controlled.
Biomass Maps - show productivity of land, can be related to farm income, show areas of carbon sequestration, and relate to both food security and trade.
The service was borne from several large-scale projects where the organization was contracted by such entities as the World Bank, the Netherlands government, the EU, the Brazilian government, and others to conduct broad-scale assessments of water resources. The monitoring of drought, irrigation performance and crop production led to the rise of this data being offered as a service to others.
The data from the service is accessible via Esri’s ArcGIS online, and also as a web map service. You can view demos of the system for both China (demo.eleaf.info/eleafchina) and India (demo.eleaf.india) online.