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Consumptive Use by Irrigated High Mountain Meadows in Southern Wyoming


An area along the Medicine Bow River in south central Wyoming was instrumented to obtain estimates of consumptive use (evapotranspiration) from irrigated high mountain meadows. Four basic methods were employed: non-weighing tank lysimeters, the hydrologic budget, the Modified Jensen-Haise method, and an adaptation of the Blaney-Criddle method.

A description of the instrumentation require to secure the necessary data for these methods, the results of the application of these methods, and comparisons of the results are presented.

Analysis revealed that estimates by the Blaney-Criddle method were consistently less than the values obtained by any of the other methods. Estimates by the Jensen-Haise method compared favorably, on a weekly basis, with the evapotranspiration measured from the tank lysimeters, Comparisons also showed that estimates by the Modified Jensen-Haise method produced the least discrepancy from the seasonal consumptive use determined by the hydrologic budget.

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