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WWRC 86-05w
Crop Water Use Studies


Two studies of mountain meadow water use have been conducted recently along the Little Laramie River and in the Upper Green River Basin of Wyoming. The objectives of the studies have been to develop technical data and calibrate models for evapotranspiration of mountain meadow vegetation. Field measurements of water use and climatic data were taken in the Little Laramie River study during 1979 through 1982 and in the Upper Green River study during 1983 through 1985. Water balance lysimeters were used to measure water use in each study with those in the Little Laramie River Valley being placed on a line across a valley while those in the Green River Basin were placed along a 20 mile stretch of Horse Creek. Results of the field measurements and analyses of data show a high rate of vegetative water use, with values near those of pan evaporation rates. Measurements show a tendency for actual water use to vary depending on available water supplies and irrigation practices. Estimation of maximum water use can be accomplished through use of a number of different models, however, local calibration is necessary.

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