1. Digital global map of artificially drained agricultural areas


Digital global map of artificially drained agricultural areas





Former versions



The map provides the fraction of each 5 arc min by 5 arc min cell area that is equipped for improved drainage. The map was developed by combining national statistics provided by international organizations (e.g. FAO, ICID, CEMAGREF), the “Global Croplands Dataset” (Ramankutty et al., 1998) and the “Digital Global Map of Irrigation Areas” (Siebert et al., 2005). No data on agricultural drainage could be found for 120 countries. Most of them are very small so that their agricultural drainage area may be neglected in global assessments. However, there are also some larger countries (in particular in Africa) where it is known that artificially drained areas are existing but the extent of these areas is unknown (e.g. Mali, Niger, Chad, Mozambique). Therefore the real global extent of agricultural drainage may be underestimated in this inventory.


The map is generated as a grid with a cellsize of 5 arc minutes. For the GIS-users the map is distributed as a zipped ASCII-grid that can be easily imported in most GIS-software that support rasters or grids. The non-GIS-users can download the map as PDF-file.


Modelling of soil water content, modelling of salinization risks, modelling of denitrification and nitrogen leaching. Due to the spatial resolution of the data sources we recommend to use the map of artificially drained areas only for continental or global scale assessments.

Data download


Alternative URL





Alternative URL




soil drainage, agriculture, salinization, irrigation, soil water balance, denitrification, leaching

Please cite as

"Sebastian Feick, Stefan Siebert and Petra Döll (2005), Global map of artificially drained agricultural areas, University of Frankfurt (Main), Germany".