1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
To facilitate and conduct coordinated research into effects of agronomic land use on playa hydrology and ecology through collaborative efforts with Texas Tech University students and faculty.
1b. Approach (from AD-416)
Modeling and direct measurement approaches will be used to conduct applied and fundamental research into plant ecology geomorphology and hydrology of playa wetlands and surronding watersheds.
3. Progress Report
A Master's thesis covering the results of preliminary water budget modeling based was accepted by Texas Tech University. We are in the process of finalizing and submitting a manuscript based upon this thesis. Five complete free water evaporation playa monitoring stations await deployment into locations already identified, which will bring the total number to 20 sites (an additional 10 sites exist with minimal instrumentation packages). We continue to download, plot, inspect, and archive data weekly from all stations to ensure data integrity. Stations across the Texas Panhandle continue to be visited and maintained quarterly or when data inspection indicates potential sensor failure. Individuals representing NRCS, Oklahoma State University, Texas Water Development Board, USGS, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have expressed interest in expanding the existing network infrastructure and/or adding more sensors to the existing stations to observe ground water level about playas, soil moisture, and large-scale vertisol swelling and cracking. We have already begun to formally collaborate with the TWDB and are moving forward with developing agreements with these other instituions. Stakeholders listed in part above continue to be partners in the research project. Stakeholders/collaborators have been actively involved in transferring data and concepts to landowners and action agencies, and the general public through meetings, news items on web sites, etc. Such activities continue to grow as the database and number of cooperators grow. ADODR is in regular contact with cooperator via e-mail, phone, and face-to-face contacts.