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Getting to Know ET (Evapotranspiration)USGS Shares Expertise About this Important Component of the Hydrologic Cycle in Florida
ET rates can vary depending on meteorological conditions, the type of land-surface cover (paved, wetland, wooded, agricultural, and others), the time of day, the time of year, and soil moisture. In spite of the relative importance of ET within the hydrologic cycleafter rainfall, it is the largest component of the water budgetreliable data for ET have historically been scarce. Strategic water management requires quantification of ET for reliable hydrologic analyses. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) currently operates 13 ET stations throughout Florida in various environmental settings; the stations measure ET at daily or shorter time scales. Another 6 stations are scheduled for installation in 2007.
The USGS Florida Integrated Science Center (FISC) office in Orlando hosted an ET workshop on November 13, 2006, to share ET information and to discuss plans for future partnerships and collaboration. More than 40 scientists, regulators, and technical managers representing the USGS, the Florida Water Management Districts, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Tampa Bay Water, and eight universities attended the meeting. They gathered to discuss the results of an effort to estimate ET rates throughout Florida, using a combination of satellite- and weather-station meteorological data.
FISC director Barry Rosen opened the meeting with an overview of FISC, explaining how the center is organized and how it integrates geology, biology, and water science in studies that cover a range of topicswater quality and availability; the effects of invasive species; natural hazards and associated coastal processes; and interaction among ground water, surface water, and ecosystems, to name a few. After Rosen's welcome, USGS hydrologist David Sumner introduced the focus of the meeting with a comprehensive talk titled "Evapotranspiration Measurement and Estimation in FloridaState of the Art and Future Directions."
Sumner, who organized the meeting, has been managing a project to produce a database of daily ET rates covering the entire State of Florida at 2-km resolution; this database is expected to be used widely by water-resource planners and regulators. University scientists conducted the research used to generate the database, and several of themJennifer Jacobs of the University of New Hampshire, Ellen Douglas of the University of Massachusetts, and John Mecikalski and Simon Paech of the University of Alabama, Huntsvillepresented results at the meeting. Validation data for the ET database project were provided primarily by USGS ET field stations operated by Sumner, Ed German (retired), Amy Swancar, and Trey Grubbs. Future plans are for the USGS to maintain and update the ET database in a Web-deliverable manner.
The November meeting was funded by all five Florida State Water Management Districts, which also provided funding for the ET database project. Representatives of three of the five districts gave talks at the meeting, including a proposal for State-wide coordination of ET research and data-collection programs.
Originally conceived as a simple project meeting, the November gathering ended up with a larger scope, providing a focal point to further the development of a State-wide, coordinated approach to ET research in Florida.
in this issue:
Getting to Know ET (Evapotranspiration)
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