Nevada Water Science Center

Evapotranspiration Studies in Nevada

Contact Information

Mike Moreo
Phone: (702) 564-4625


Mailing Address
Nevada Water Science Center
160 N. Stephanie St.
Henderson, NV 89074


Nevada Water Science Center

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Peterson Reservoir

Site identification: 362644116210501

Study contact: Randy Laczniak

ET Data

Annual ET reported (in inches): 103.2

Study period: 6/25/96 - 6/25/97

Days recorded: 468 from 5/18/96 to 8/28/97


Measurement method: Bowen ratio

Data: Download from NWISWeb

Graph of ET data

Location information

in decimal degrees
in decimal degrees
36.4455555556 -116.351388889 2169


Photo of ET site


ET Source Area

Open water


Study Information

The study estimates ground-water discharge from the Ash Meadows area through a rigorous quantification of evapotranspiration (ET). To accomplish this objective, the study identifies areas of ongoing ground-water ET, delineates unique areas of ET defined on the basis of similarities in vegetation and soil-moisture conditions, and computes ET rates for each of the delineated areas. A classification technique using spectral-reflectance characteristics determined from satellite images recorded in 1992 identified seven unique units representing areas of ground-water ET. The total area classified encompasses about 10,350 acres dominated primarily by lush desert vegetation. Each unique area, referred to as an ET unit, generally consists of one or more assemblages of local phreatophytes. The ET units identified range from sparse grasslands to open water. Annual ET rates are computed by energy-budget methods from micrometeorological measurements made at 10 sites within six of the seven identified ET units. Micrometeorological data were collected for a minimum of 1 year at each site during 1994 through 1997. Evapotranspiration ranged from 0.6 foot per year in a sparse, dry saltgrass environment to 8.6 feet per year over open water. Ancillary data, including water levels, were collected during this same period to gain additional insight into the evapotranspiration process. Water levels measured in shallow wells showed annual declines of more than 10 feet and daily declines as high as 0.3 foot attributed to water losses associated with evapotranspiration. Mean annual ET from the Ash Meadows area is estimated at 21,000 acre-feet.


Study Publication: WRIR99-4079




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