Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Plants, Soils, and Climate

Committee Chair(s)

Lawrence E. Hipps


Lawrence E. Hipps


Shih-Yu (Simon) Wang


Alfonso Torres-Rua


Water usage for irrigation is a big consumer of water resources in urban areas in Utah and other parts of the Intermountain Region of the Western United States. As populations continue to increase in these states, it is important to understand how much water is being used by urban landscapes in order to plan and manage future water resources. Evapotranspiration (ET), or the amount of water leaving a surface over a certain timeframe due to both transpiration from plants and evaporation from the soil, is a key variable in understanding how much water urban landscapes are really using to grow and survive. There are ways to estimate it using nearby weather station data, but this method has shown to not always be accurate for one of the more prominent urban landscapes: turfgrass. There are more rigorous ways of measuring ET, but they are much more expensive and require maintenance and processing time. Satellite remote sensing models are becoming an increasingly popular way to estimate ET as well, but they are difficult to employ in urban areas due to the dense spacing of different landscapes and man-made structures.

In this thesis, measurements of high-frequency three-dimensional wind, temperature, and humidity are collected and processed to calculate how much water was used at a golf course in a suburban area. This data is then used to validate a simple yet tested and published remote sensing model. ET measurements during the 2017 and 2018 growing season showed that in general more water was being used by the turfgrass than the recommended amount, although this changed throughout the growing season and the turfgrass was actually using less than the recommended amount during the fall months. The validation of the remote sensing model did provide a fair estimate of the average measured values, but the performance of the model was not as good as those found in other studies, likely due to properties of urban landscapes violating some of the assumptions in the model. Combining the model and its validation provide important information on how much water urban landscapes consume, along with steps forward in modeling this water use from a remote sensing perspective.