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Comparison of Methods for Estimating Potential Evapotranspiration in the North Platte Basin of Wyoming


A knowledge of consumptive use and water requirements of irrigated crops and natural vegetation in Wyoming is essential in planning water conservation for agricultural, municipal, and industrial uses of water. The concept of usage and the availability of water leads to decisions on interstate compacts and divisions of water within the state. Consumptive use of water by plants, or evapotranspiration, is an important element in the hydrologic cycle from the time precipitation falls to the ground until it returns to the atmosphere or reaches the ocean. Knowledge of evapotranspiration, which includes evaporation of water from the land and water surfaces and transpiration by irrigated crops and natural vegetation, is becoming increasingly important, particularly in arid and semi-arid regions of the world. The objectives of this specific study were to test existing models and develop new models for the estimation of potential evapotranspiration on a short-term basis in the North Platte Basin of Wyoming. This study was part of the Platte River Basin area development studies being sponsored by the Wyoming Water Resources Research Institute.

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