Agricultural water management
The main objective of the research and education activities of the Agricultural Water Management (AWM) program is to produce engineers and scientists prepared to address the following:
- What is the appropriate technology to apply and manage agricultural (ag) water efficiently at the field and project level?
- How can scarce ag water use be managed and monitored spatially and temporally?
- How to adapt technologies and models (in developing and developed countries) in a fast changing world (i.e., population growth, climate change, water rights, energy/water costs)?
AWM students learn and apply irrigation systems design and management, ag field hydrology, micro-meteorology, soil physics, vegetation (crops, landscape) water requirements, remote sensing (e.g., satellite, airborne, UAS), statistics, water law, etc.
Thus, the AWM program aims to optimize “irrigated” crop production (yields or economic yields) while protecting the environment (e.g., groundwater, streams, wetlands) from the results of over irrigation (most common cause) in which soil, water, and agro-chemical resources are wasted.
Research in the AWM focuses on:
- Crop evapotranspiration modeling
- Soil-water deficit modeling
- Precision Irrigation: irrigation prescription maps optimization
- Irrigation and natural hydrologic systems: understanding the fate of applied water