From Sensors & Systems
June 21st, 2016
Water Stress Tool Set to ‘Go Live
HUNTSVILLE, Ala., June 21, 2016—An experimental tool to give farmers, government officials, environmental groups and other stakeholders an improved estimate of how much water is available in a specific watershed is scheduled to go on line this summer.
Developed in the Earth System Science Center (ESSC) at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), the Watershed Hydrologic Stress Tool (WHyST), a coupled crop/hydrology model, uses data from NOAA and NASA weather reports, crop and hydrology models, and water consumers such as city water systems and power companies to produce an accurate, near real-time snapshot of water use and the potential for drought stress in a given watershed.
Beginning this summer as a proof of concept, UAH researchers will use WHyST to report each month on water stress in the Apalachicola, Chattahoochee and Flint rivers watershed. The ACF watershed stretches from the foothills of the Smokey Mountains in north Georgia to the Gulf of Mexico, covering parts of Georgia, Alabama and Florida.
“Our long-term goal is to have tools like this across all of the basins in Alabama, so we would have better ideas about the water supply,” said Cam Handyside, an ESSC research engineer. “But to begin, we’re coupling our crop model to the hydrology model to get a dynamic snapshot of water availability in the ACF basin.”