Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2011TX395B

An Assessment of Water Availability in Texas Using the NOAH Land Surface Model

Institute: Texas
Year Established: 2011 Start Date: 2011-03-01 End Date: 2012-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $5,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $10,857

Principal Investigators: C. Prakash Khedun, Vijay Singh

Abstract: The state of Texas suffers from both short term and long term droughts, which have resulted in losses equivalent to several billions of dollars. Several studies have shown that precipitation and indeed drought are strongly related to climate teleconnection patterns. Spatial correlation between climate and drought indices shows that the state is not uniformly affected by droughts – instead some areas are more vulnerable than others. While this qualitative information is useful to the water manager, it does not help the latter to plan adequately. A quantitative assessment of changes in the water availability on the other hand will allow planners to develop optimal adaptation strategies to cope with these extreme events. In this study we propose to use the NOAH land surface model along with the NLDAS2 forcing data to assess water availability in the state. The study will look at the effect of climate indices on each of the 10 climate divisions and identify the most vulnerable regions. Wavelet analysis will be used to identify the correlation and lag difference between climate events and the impact on water in each climate division. The results from this study will help give an early warning to water managers and thus limit losses from droughts.