Water Use by Saltcedar in an Arid Environment

by Lloyd W. Gay, Univ of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Water Forum '86: World Water Issues in Evolution


Specialized instruments and measurement techniques developed at the University of Arizona facilitate precise estimation of evapotranspiration (ET) with the energy budget model. Use of the model is demonstrated in a study of ET from a dense stand of saltcedar along the lower Colorado River. The ET totals for the growing season were estimated as 1680 mm, including 42 mm of summer precipitation. Potential evapotranspiration (PET) estimates were developed from climatological data at nearby Blythe, California. The PET estimates were converted to actual evapotranspiration (AET) with a calibration function that was developed by regressing daily totals of Bowen ratio ET against the corresponding daily totals of PET. The results demonstrate that excellent estimates of ET from well-watered vegetation can be obtained using climatological data if PET models are first calibrated against a relatively small set of Bowen ratio ET measurements.

Subject Headings: Salt water | Water use | Arid lands | Water resources | Weather forecasting | Calibration | Aquatic habitats | Evapotranspiration | California | United States | Colorado River

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