Development and validation of the global map of irrigation areas
Abstract. A new version of a digital global map of irrigation areas was developed by combining irrigation statistics for 10 825 sub-national statistical units and geo-spatial information on the location and extent of irrigation schemes. The map shows the percentage of each 5 arc minute by 5 arc minute cell that was equipped for irrigation around the year 2000. It is thus an important data set for global studies related to water and land use. This paper describes the data set and the mapping methodology and gives, for the first time, an estimate of the map quality at the scale of countries, world regions and the globe. Two indicators of map quality were developed for this purpose, and the map was compared to irrigated areas as derived from two remote sensing based global land cover inventories.