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Measuring Agriculture's Water Use in the Soil, in the Atmosphere, and from Space

Regional water budgets are connected globally through the water cycle.  Agriculture is the largest consumer of water both globally and in California, so that innovative techniques to conserve water in irrigation and with other management strategies is an important to ensure long-term sustainable water supply.  There are widespread state and local efforts initiatives to adopt water conservation strategies in agriculture, and these efforts need ground-based measurements, remote sensing surveys, and robust models to ensure that water conservation measures will result in beneficial outcomes.  This presentation will introduce some USDA-ARS projects which investigate the amount of water needed to grow crops including alfalfa, wheat, citrus, and hazelnuts.  These projects include methods that measure evapotranspiration and weather, track soil moisture from precipitation and from irrigation, and integrate water budgets for entire watersheds with groundwater models.


Speaker Bio

Jason Kelley works as a research engineer with the Water Management Unit of USDA Agricultural Research Service in Parlier, California. He received a PhD in Water Resources Engineering at Oregon State University. He studies crop water requirements, irrigation efficiency and consumptive water use, evapotranspiration, and environmental thermodynamics. 


The semester’s complete speaker series schedule can be found at:

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