Prepare to Transpire: Water-use Efficiency in the Coastal Mid-Atlantic

Project Team: Coastal Mid-Atlantic Water Resources Team
Team Location: NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia; and Patrick Henry Building, Richmond, Virginia

Leaf area index map of the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain. Image Credit: Coastal Mid-Atlantic Water Resources Team.

Leaf area index map of the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain. Image Credit: Coastal Mid-Atlantic Water Resources Team.

Authors:
Kent Sparrow
Nathan Qian
Jelly Riedel
Cassandra Morgan
Stephen Kochaver
Zakaria Boston
Oyinlayfia Porbeni

Mentors/Advisors:
Dr. Kenton Ross (NASA DEVELOP National Science Advisor)
James Favors (NASA DEVELOP International Lead)

Past/Other Contributors:
Coastal Mid-Atlantic Water Resources Summer 2014 Team
Peru Water Resources Summer 2014 Team

Abstract:
Crop irrigation accounts for a considerable amount of water use in the Coastal Mid-Atlantic region.  A better understanding of how much water farmers need to irrigate their fields will help decrease water waste and lower economic costs. The Mapping Evapotranspiration at High Resolution with Internalized Calibration (METRIC) model is a powerful tool that calculates evapotranspiration (ET) based on localized data.  Executable in Esri ArcGIS software from a Python script, the model can be used as a decision-support tool that provides farmers with information regarding ET rates that will allow them to make more informed irrigation decisions. METRIC estimates ET using a series of equations where local input variables are acquired from Landsat 8 sensors, a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) survey-based Digital Elevation Model (DEM), and local weather conditions.  While METRIC-derived ET estimates are beneficial for irrigation purposes, they also can provide state officials with a useful proxy for drought monitoring.  Utilizing data from NASA Earth observations in the Coastal Mid-Atlantic region will contribute to a large-scale, more-complete understanding of water consumption behavior.

 

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