Rio Grande Basin Initiative

2005-06 Deliverables

Task 5 Research
Principal Investigator(s): Richard White

  1. Intensively instrument an El Paso, Texas landscape to determine actual evapotranspiration (ET) of plants integrated within the landscape using a water balance method for the entire landscape during August 2005 through June 30, 2006 in El Paso, Texas through cooperation with Dr. Genhua Niu and the El Paso Center. The needed equipment and instrumentation is available and a cooperator (Dr. Niu) is now available to assist with this effort.
  2. Continue to maintain and monitor three intensively instrumented landscapes in Weslaco, El Paso, and College Station to document actual evapotranspiration (ET) of integrated landscapes using a water balance method for the entire landscape.
  3. Determine the relationship between actual ET and potential ET for the development of seasonal landscape irrigation coefficients for three integrated landscapes during June 2005 through May 2006. The landscapes are located in three geographically distinct regions of the state with two in the Rio Grande Valley. Determine whether similar landscape coefficients can be used for landscape irrigation across diverse climatic regions.
  4. Develop information to refine the calculation of realistic water budgets for residential landscapes based on 1 through 3 above and lot size and landscape foliar cover, and interact with Texas Cooperative Extension to develop outreach programs to assist municipalities and homeowners in adhering to water budgets.
  5. Expand the use of the residential landscape water budget concept in landscape ordinances and landscape design, planning, and irrigation to reduce municipal water consumption.
  6. Compare water budget estimates with actual consumer water use to target educational programs for the greatest impact.
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