Every Drop Counts: Developing a Water Budget for Costa Rica

EarthzineAssessing Drought and Water Availability, DEVELOP 2015 Summer VPS, DEVELOP Virtual Poster Session

This is an article from the Summer 2015 VPS. For more VPS articles, click here

Delineated watershed and sub-basins and defined land cover of Arenal-Tempisque Watershed derived from processing in SWAT model. Image Credit: Costa Rica Water Resources II Team

Delineated watershed and sub-basins and defined land cover of Arenal-Tempisque Watershed derived from processing in SWAT model. Image Credit: Costa Rica Water Resources II Team

Category:åÊAssessing Drought and Water Availability

Project Team: Costa Rica Water Resources II

Team Location: University of Georgia – Athens, Georgia

Authors:

Veronica Fay

Steve Padgett-Vasquez

Caren Remillard

Eduardo Rendon

Kamala Kanta Sahoo

Xuan Zhang

Mentors/Advisors:

Javier Arti̱ano GuzmÌÁn (SENARA ‰ÛÒ Costa Rica‰Ûªs National Service of Underground Water, Irrigation, and Drainage)

Dr. Marguerite Madden (University of Georgia)

Dr. Quint Newcomer (University of Georgia Costa Rica)

Dr. Adam Milewski (University of Georgia)

Dr. Kenton Ross (NASA DEVELOP National Program)

Abstract:

For the past three years, the Arenal-Tempisque Watershed has experienced drought conditions complicating water management and agricultural production. To facilitate a responsive water management decision-making process, the Costa Rica Water Resources team collaborated with Servicio Nacional de Aguas SubterrÌÁneas Riego y Avenamiento (SENARA), UGA Costa Rica, and the Costa Rican Embassy. The team created a model in the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) modeling software for the Arenal-Tempisque Watershed using NASA Earth observations, ancillary data sources, and in-situ data. The model‰Ûªs results were calibrated and validated through the use of the Soil and Water Assessment Tool-Calibration and Uncertainty Procedures software (SWAT-CUP). The evapotranspiration data (MOD16) from Terra‰Ûªs Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor were used to offer another source of continuous data to supplement the SWAT model‰Ûªs outputs. Additionally, the project partners were provided with a tutorial that will enable the SWAT model‰Ûªs hydrological outputs to be calibrated and validated for different future scenarios. The results obtained from the SWAT model and the MOD16 data provided greater insight into the region‰Ûªs hydrologic processes, which allowed for the development of a water resource inventory for the study area. Upon receiving the hydrological data and tools, SENARA will be able to replicate the project‰Ûªs methods to continuously update its water budget; this will allow the agency to make a more efficient water management plan, benefitting local inhabitants and stakeholders.

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