State Water Resources Research Institute Program


Project ID: 2009OK125B
Title: Quantification of water fluxes and irrigation use through remote sensing
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2009
End Date: 2/28/2010
Congressional District: 4
Focus Categories: Irrigation, Water Use, Hydrology
Keywords: ET, Remote Sensing, Irrigation, Water Use
Principal Investigators: Vieux, Baxter; Hong, Yang (University of Oklahoma)
Federal Funds: $ 25,000
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 51,832
Abstract: Accounting for water use and availability can benefit from knowing how much water is transported to the atmosphere from land surfaces. Water flux comes from irrigation water application, water bodies, available soil moisture, groundwater, and precipitation. Actual evapo-transpiration can be measured from remotely sensed images from the NASA satellite, MODIS. Application of irrigation water in heavily irrigated areas can be estimated from satellite derived estimates as demonstrated in current work by the investigators. We wish to extend this work through continuation of our work effort to consider different study areas that include both rural and urban areas, validation in climatically diverse conditions, and quantify the amount of water flux in excess of precipitation that is derived from irrigation. Sources of water flux include irrigated agriculture, rainfed agriculture, wetlands, and riparian vegetation, all of which transmit water into the atmosphere through Evapo-Transpiration (ET). As demand for water increases, water managers need to know how much water is actually consumed in agriculture. From our current studies it is clear that the remote sensing of ET is feasible and has the potential for application to water use and availability studies over broad areas in Oklahoma. This proposal will expand and extend current and previous work conducted in 2008-2009 on actual evapo-transpiration estimation from remote sensing. The proposed work effort will improve our knowledge of water use in urban and agricultural study areas, and allow us to expand the study areas to include lakes and streamflow in river basins. The proposed research will improve or estimates of water flux yielding a comprehensive picture of water use in targeted areas.

Quantification of the water flux, aET-precipitation, will examine temporal and spatial trends and the seasonality associated with agricultural irrigation and urban areas water use. Irrigation application in the Lugert Altus district and in Texas County will be estimated. By considering precipitation and detailed vegetative cover and the land surface, more accurate estimates of water usage can be produced. Future significance of this work is the application of this technique to better quantify water use in urban areas and areas where the economy depends heavily on irrigated agriculture. Water management practices of drip irrigation, low or no-till agriculture, salt cedar eradication efforts could potentially be measured by the methods developed through the proposed research.

Progress/Completion Report, 2009, PDF

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