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ARS Home » Plains Area » Bushland, Texas » Conservation and Production Research Laboratory » Soil and Water Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #281682

Title: Mapping crop-specific drought index for groundwater management in the Texas High Plains

item Moorhead, Jerry
item Gowda, Prasanna
item PORTER, DANA - Texas Agrilife Extension
item MAREK, THOMAS - Texas Agrilife Research
item Howell, Terry
item STEWART, BOB - West Texas A & M University
item HOLMAN, DANIEL - Texas Agrilife Extension

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/28/2012
Publication Date: 10/23/2012
Citation: Moorhead, J.E., Gowda, P., Porter, D.O., Marek, T.H., Howell, T.A., Stewart, B.A., Holman, D. 2012. Mapping crop-specific drought index for groundwater management in the Texas High Plains [abstract]. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts. 2012 CDROM. Paper No. 209-11.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Drought is a highly destructive natural phenomenon that affects portions of the U.S. almost every year. Moisture deficiencies can become catastrophic for agriculture and crop yields. Of the numerous drought indicators currently being used, the most popular indices include the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI), the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI), and the U.S. Drought Monitor. These indices, however, may not be best suited for monitoring agricultural drought to assist in groundwater management. Evapotranspiration (ET) is an important component in the agricultural water budget; thus, it is necessary to include ET in agricultural drought monitoring. The PDSI and U.S. Drought monitor require many input parameters including soil moisture, which can be difficult to obtain, while the SPI provides only deviation of precipitation from normal levels. In response to these limitations, the Standardized Precipitation-Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) was recently introduced to monitor agricultural drought. The SPEI uses the difference between precipitation and reference ET, which is an indicator of crop water deficiency or irrigation demand. In this study, crop-specific monthly SPEI drought index maps for the Texas High Plains were developed using the Texas High Plains ET (TXHPET) network data. Additionally, statistical relationships between crop-specific SPEI and irrigation demand were evaluated to determine their ability to assist in groundwater management in the Texas High Plains.