Assessing Technology and Tools to Improve Water Management within the Rio Grande Basin
Allen Berthold1, Juan Enciso2, Alexander Fernald3,4, Hatim Geli3,4, Charles Hillyer5, Robert Sabie3,4, Zohrab Samani4, and Qingwu Xue2
1 Texas Water Resources Institute, 2 Texas A&M AgriLife Research, 3 New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute, 4 New Mexico State University, 5 Texas A&M AgriLife Extension
Monday 8th January 2018
Agriculture is a key economic activity throughout the Rio Grande Basin and requires substantial water resources. Growers continue to seek methods for improving irrigation scheduling and understanding irrigation requirements to maximize yields with efficient use of available water. Evapotranspiration (ET) estimates and crop coefficients are used in irrigation scheduling and are available through multiple sources (e.g., free websites, paid subscription, published literature). The accuracy of these products is not equal and, in some cases, is not known. In this project, growers will be surveyed so our group better understands data needs (e.g., timing of data, accuracy, precision, delivery mechanisms, and current tools used). We will compare different ET commercial tools and data sources with ground reference data to determine the accuracy. Remotely sensed imagery from both satellite and aerial platforms will be used to create high spatial/temporal resolution ET maps over three study locations representative of the geographic variability in the Basin and examine the relationship between ground measurements. This analysis will: 1) develop a decision support tool to help farmers select an appropriate ET product based on local conditions, cultural practices, and water availability, and, 2) illustrate the relationships between published and measured crop coefficients and yield verses ET.
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