State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project Id: 2010OK180B
Title: Water conservation in Oklahoma urban and suburban watersheds through modification of irrigation practices
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2010
End Date: 2/28/2011
Congressional District: 3
Focus Categories: Conservation, Drought, Climatological Processes
Keywords: Water conservation, turfgrass, landscapes, irrigation, urban watersheds, suburban watersheds, evapotranspiration
Principal Investigators: Moss, Justin Quetone; Adams, Damian; Boyer, Tracy (Oklahoma State University); Martin, Dennis (Oklahoma State University); Smolen, Michael; Su, Kemin
Federal Funds: $ 25,000
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 52,763
Abstract: Water conservation is important for municipalities throughout Oklahoma. As urban and suburban sprawl increases in Oklahoma, large areas of previously non-irrigated pasture and/or croplands are being converted to irrigated homeowner and commercial landscapes. The consequential increase in irrigated turfgrass areas across Oklahoma will result in increased landscape water use. The goal of this project is to understand and promote more conservation oriented landscape water use in Oklahoma.

The objectives of this project are as follows:

  1. Assess current landscape water use and irrigation practices in Oklahoma urban and suburban areas through conjoint choice surveys.
    1. Survey homeowners and lawn care companies about perceptions and preferences concerning landscape/turfgrass aesthetics and accompanying irrigation practices, how they make landscape irrigation decisions, and economic factors including willingness to pay for water based on plant health and aesthetics versus associated economic water factors.
  2. Determine the accuracy and reliability of remote sensing reference evapotranspiration (ET) data with established crop coefficients compared to actual landscape plant water use in Oklahoma.
    1. Calculate historical growing season reference ET from 1993 to present day using Oklahoma Mesonet remote sensing climate data using the Penman-Monteith method.
    2. Estimate actual plant water use by conducting field lysimeter and atmometer studies and measuring actual weekly water applied to adequately maintain bermudagrass over the growing season compared to Penman-Monteith reference ET.
  3. Educate Oklahoma stakeholders and citizens of landscape irrigation practices to conserve Oklahoma water resources.
    1. Hands-on irrigation training and demonstration workshops conducted through the OSU Cooperative Extension Service.
    2. Fact sheets and interactive Oklahoma landscape irrigation website.

This project addresses the following two OWRRI high priority research areas:

The proposed work would allow us to gather important and current data to determine the present situation of landscape irrigation in Oklahoma. If successful, future work would allow us to collect post-survey and post-implementation data to assess the effectiveness of our water conservation research and extension efforts

Progress/Completion Report, 2010, PDF

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