The water resources group at the University of Idaho's Kimberly Research and Extension Center is a national leader on consumption of water by irrigated agriculture and natural systems. The group also conducts research on water quality and hydrology. The group has developed the METRIC platform for transforming satellite imagery into maps of water consumption and the REF-ET and ETIdaho systems for calculating reference crop ET and for reporting crop water requirements for the State of Idaho.
Water Quality Monitoring
The water resources group at the University of Idaho's Kimberly Research and Extension Center has been involved with water quality studies on the Snake River and surrounding watersheds since 1990. Beside monitoring the river, irrigation return flows, canal systems, springs, wells (groundwater), tributary, water quality improvement facilities (best management practices) sites have been sampled for various water quality parameters. The focus has been the collection of water quality data related to irrigation return flow sediment and nutrients and has been supported by the Twin Falls Canal Company, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The monitoring data assists in documentation trends in water quality over time. The historical monitoring data is available online at http://data.kimberly.uidaho.edu/HITS and is typically updated after the irrigation season ends and data has been reviewed.
For irrigation water management issues, please visit the Irrigation Water Management page.
Remote Sensing of Evapotranspiration
The generation of evapotranspiration maps using Landsat Satellite images is based on METRIC (Mapping EvapoTranspiration at high Resolution and InternalizedCalibration). Learn more.
Ref-ET: Reference Evapotranspiration Calculator
Ref-ET is a Windows based software package that calculates reference evapotranspiration (ET). ET is defined as the amount of water that evaporates from vegetation (transpiration) and from the underlying soil. Reference evapotranspiration is defined as the ET that occurs from a standardized “reference” crop such as clipped grass or alfalfa. Download software.
Standardization of Reference Evapotranspiration
Evapotranspiration represents the loss of water from the earth’s surface through the combined processes of evaporation (from soil and plant surfaces) and plant transpiration (i.e. internal evaporation). Learn more.
Guidelines for computing crop water requirements
Evaporation and Consumptive Irrigation Requirements for Idaho include updated evapotranspiration (ET) and net irrigation requirement (NIR) estimates for areas in Idaho. Learn more.