Assessment of Evapotranspiration Models under Hyper Arid Environments




Alblewi, Bander H

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University of Guelph


With a precipitation falling to as low as 100 mm/yr, a high rate of non-renewable groundwater depletion, a growing population resulting in increased food demand and a lack of concern for water management, it is crucial to use all available tools to conserve water. One of the most important factors related to water management is crop evapotranspiration. This research examines five crop evapotranspiration models (one combination model, three radiation based models and one temperature based model) under hyper arid environment at practical field level. These models have been evaluated and calibrated using an alfalfa weekly water balance in 2010. The calibrated models have been evaluated and validated using wheat and potatoes on a weekly water balance, respectively. Based on the results and discussion, FAO-56 PM proved to be superior at estimating crop evapotranspiration while radiation and temperature based models underestimated evapotranspiration and would require subsequent local calibration. However, the drawback of FAO-56 PM is that it requires all weather data and is also significantly more complicated than other models. Important observations that were made are that calibrated Turc and Makkink models performed poorly even when they were calibrated while simple models such as calibrated Hargreaves-Samani (temperature-based) and Priestley–Taylor (radiation-based) can be adequately used for irrigation scheduling in a hyper arid environments.



Crop evapotranspiration models, Water balance model, Hyper arid environment