About us

Get to know the IrriWatch story!

History of IrriWatch

Wim Bastiaanssen grew up on a farm in the Northeast Polder, a reclaimed land from a large Dutch inland sea. He has been fascinated by the stories of his farther on converting a muddy bottom of the sea into fertile land with a well functioning drainage system. Wim knew since he was 15 years that he wanted to seek for a profession in water management.

His first junior position was with the Instituut voor Cultuurtechniek and Waterhuishouding (ICW) in Wageningen during 1986. During this job he got in contact with thermal infrared data from Landsat over the desert of Egypt that was just launched. Wim got intrigued by the large variations of surface temperature and this prompted his shift from being a practical engineer to a young scientist. He exposed himself to the international literature in the field of thermal remote sensing and energy balances and observed that most solutions were either very sophisticated or had an empirical character that could not be copied to other regions. He started to think more about a practical method that could calibrate itself for different environmental conditions. During a holiday in Sicily, he suddenly got the idea to utilize hot and cold pixels for internal calibration. His PhD thesis at Wageningen University in 1995 describes this method; SEBAL was born.

During the 1990s, Wim participated in several international large scale flux campaigns where he learned the profession of soil-physicists and micro-meteorologist. When inspecting turbulent flux measurements, he found the evaporative fraction to be fairly constant during the diurnal cycle (outside the remote sensing community this was detected before).

The papers from 1992 and later proofed that this concept could be used for determining daily ET fluxes from remote sensing data. The constancy of evaporative fraction is now a basic and essential assumption in many common remote sensing algorithms.

Wim worked at various international research institutes and universities in the period 1997 to 2018. During this period, SEBAL upgraded continuously with more perfection. In the meantime, METRIC from Rick Allen was derived from SEBAL and developed in parallel. SEBAL and METRIC became standard ET algorithms in many higher and lower income countries. The nice thing is that others were starting to validate these models. A better international acceptance is not possible.

The lack of standard methodologies for operational irrigation and crop management prompted Wim in 2019 to start IrriWatch. The science was already established for a long period, but imbedding in daily on-farm decisions was in its infancy. He developed SEBAL-4 with the capacity to have daily ET images and a data subscription system. Since the start of IrriWatch in 2019, crop health and plan irrigation actions are monitored on 1 million ha of farmland. “It is a great satisfaction to help farmers directly without decisions from third parties that only create unnecessary obstacles” said Wim. He is now back to the community he originated from.


Target groups

Farmers and growers

Get daily updates for every field (or sector of a field) related to irrigation advice, growth monitoring, leaf Nitrogen, soil conditions, anomaly alerts and within field variability.

Food and seed businesses

Standard method for monitoring all fields globally allowing to assess product volumes to processing plants a few months before harvest, assessing product quality and report on sustainability.

Irrigation manufacturers

Offering 1 to 8 day irrigation advice by sector / valve management zones for (automated) system control and revision of weekly irrigation plans for checking whether irrigation priority requires adjustment.

Agriculture software companies

Expansion of digital services with sensorless data and more focus on 10m x 10m within field variabilities.

Banks and insurance companies

Use historic data to Know Your Customer (KYC) and reduce risk of financial investment and insurance premium. Independent assessment of field conditions in case of disputes.

Governmental organizations

Assist Irrigation Boards with scheme management and refined water allocation procedures including compliance of water jurisdictions.


Provide agronomists and hydrologists with independent data to execute their job more effectively and create data basis of trends in land and water productivity.

The IrriWatch team

Prof. Wim Bastiaanssen

Founder & CEO


Dr. Roula Bachour

Lead Scientist


Ir. Gijs Bastiaanssen

Lead Business and Finance


Ir. Richard Knol

Data Analyst


Bas Vullings

Data Programmer


Ir. Tim Hessels

Geo-Irrigation Specialist & Ph.D. student


Ing. Sam Bastiaanssen

GIS Expert & Operational Manager


Ir. Harald Tijink

IT Developer


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