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Liang, L.L., Anderson, R. G., Shiflett, S. A., & Jenerette, G. D. (2017). Urban outdoor water use and response to drought assessed through mobile energy balance and vegetation greenness measurements. Environmental Research Letters, 12(8). https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/aa7b21
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/11416
Urban vegetation provides many highly valued ecosystem services but also requires extensive urban water resources. Increasingly, cities are experiencing water limitations and managing outdoor urban water use is an important concern. Quantifying the water lost via evapotranspiration (ET) is critical for urban water management and conservation, especially in arid or semi-arid regions. In this study, we deployed a mobile energy balance platform to measure evaporative fraction throughout Riverside, California, a warm, semi-arid, city. We observed the relationship between evaporative fraction and satellite derived vegetation index across 29 sites, which was then used to map whole-city ET for a representative mid-summer period. Resulting ET distributions were strongly associated with both neighborhood population density and income. By comparing 2014 and 2015 summer-period water uses, our results show 7.8% reductions in evapotranspiration, which were also correlated with neighborhood demographic characteristics. Our findings suggest a mobile energy balance measurement platform coupled with satellite imagery could serve as an effective tool in assessing the outdoor water use at neighborhood to whole city scales.
IOP Publishing Ltd
This work is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licence.