The Jordanian government has encouraged irrigated agriculture since the early 1990s by providing low cost loans to drill private wells. The impacts of this practice on land use change were examined within a small (362 km2) area of the Jordanian Badia using Geoinformatics. Aerial photographs, SPOT and Landsat TM imageries were used, in a GIS environment, to map and examine changes in the farming patterns since 1990. Field surveys and questionnaires were used to ground truth the remotely sensed data. The results indicate that the cultivated area has increased from just 28.5 ha in 1990 to over 1000 ha in 2000 and that the number of farms has increased from 2 to 32 over the same time period. Furthermore, farm locations are moved annually restricted by the position of the well and land availability; this also causes land use change.
The publisher's version of this article is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0020723042000199768