This is an article from the Summer 2015 VPS. For more VPS articles, click here
Project Team: New Mexico Water Resources and Agriculture
Team Location: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory – Pasadena, California
Joshua Fisher (NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
Greg Moore (NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
Manish Verma (California Institute of Technology)
As New Mexico is experiencing some of the most severe drought in the U.S., equipping water resource management with evapotranspiration data becomes increasingly vital. Knowledge of rangeland conditions is necessary for decisions regarding cattle management, emergency response for rapid rangeland and farmland deterioration, fire management risk decisions, and determining drought severity. New Mexico land managers and decision-makers currently assess rangeland conditions using spatially-limited in-situ spot checks, which provides limited information. Additionally, weekly Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and evapotranspiration products for New Mexico counties are not widely distributed or easily accessible. By providing an automated, streamlined, non-proprietary evapotranspiration product to the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer, New Mexico decision-makers will have easy access to critical evapotranspiration data which will drive water resource decision-making and drought assessment. To create the evapotranspiration product, we utilized the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensors onboard NASA’s Aqua and Terra satellites to retrieve six MODIS land and four MODIS atmosphere datasets.