Automating the Not-So-Extraterrestrial ET

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Prospective Web Interface. Image Credit: New Mexico Water Resources & Agriculture Team

Prospective Web Interface. Image Credit: New Mexico Water Resources & Agriculture Team

Category: Monitoring Change for Resource Management
Project Team: New Mexico Water Resources II
Team Location: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory – Pasadena, California

Authors:
Trevor McDonald
Gregory Halverson

Mentors/Advisors:
Joshua Fisher (NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
Greg Moore (NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
Munish Sikka (California Institute of Technology)

Abstract:
With the southwestern region of the United States experiencing unprecedented drought conditions, improving and deploying real time applications enables water resource managers to plan and manage more effectively. Dr. Joshua Fisher’s daily evapotranspiration (ET) product, implemented through the team’s pipeline, provides an improved temporal and spatial resolution assessment of rangeland water resource conditions, consequently enhancing decisions related to cattle management, emergency response for rapid rangeland and farmland deterioration, fire management risk decisions, and determining drought severity. The current assessment methods that New Mexico land managers and decision-makers utilize include spatially limited in situ spot check as well as weekly Normalized Difference Vegetation Indices (NDVI) and ET products for New Mexico counties. The current methods are insufficient because of difficult accessibility, limited information, and lack of distribution. This team’s automated and streamlined pipeline, in combination with Fisher’s daily ET product delivered to the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer will prove to be critical in enhancing water resource decision-making.

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