Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Civil and Environmental Engineering


Jagath J. Kaluarachchi


Land surface actual evapotranspiration (ET) is an important process in terrestrial water balance and reliable estimates of ET are necessary to improve water resources management. In this regard, there is a growing body of literature that recognizes the importance of an accurate ET model. Among them, the complementary relationship between ET and potential ET (ETP) has been the subject of many studies because it uses only meteorological data as inputs. However, there is an increasing concern that some complementary relationship models perform poorly under dry conditions. To overcome this limitation, this dissertation was designed to extend the latest complementary relationship model, Modified GG, using both meteorological data and vegetation information, NDVI, which is readily available from remote sensing data. The proposed model, Adjusted GG-NDVI, was validated by comparing to other ET models and measured ET data. With Adjusted GG-NDVI, this dissertation addressed the applicability of using ET as a proxy for drought monitoring. As a result, the drought patterns from the proposed drought index, EWDI, were consistent with commonly used USDM in the United States. More importantly, this study described drought conditions by comprehensively considering both precipitation and vegetation conditions. Taken together, these findings have significant implications for the understanding of how ET can assist in water resources management.