St Mary-Milk Rivers Consumptive Use Study – Remote Sensing Component - 2019


Water Quantity

Project Description

The primary goal of this project is to develop a historical database representing annual or sub-annual evapotranspiration (ET) totals in the Milk and St. Mary River basins from 1982-2018 using remote sensing. This database will lay the foundation for the establishment of a remote sensing tool to objectively estimate ET in the upper Milk and St. Mary River basins on a 2-4 week interval using high spatial resolution (30- to 100-meter) satellite imagery. In addition, historical trends in consumptive water use in the basins can be analyzed and compared to historical estimates that were made using alternative methods. The completion of the project will occur in three phases over the Fiscal Years (FYs) 19-21. This fiscal year, the primary goal of this project is to complete Phase 1 of the project ‘Development of Historical Database of Evapotranspiration Using Remote Sensing’. Google Earth Engine, an online platform for image processing, will be used to download, mask, and preprocess all of the necessary remotely sensed imagery and gridded climate data. A portion of Phase 1 has been completed using funding provided to the Wyoming-Montana Water Science Center in FY18. The remaining steps to complete Phase 1 of the project include compiling all necessary and relevant gridded climate data, as well as local meteorological data that will be used to optimize the ET algorithms specifically for the Milk and St. Mary River basins, and align them with the remotely sensed data. Together, these data will serve as the primary inputs to the ET algorithms developed in Phase 3 to estimate actual evapotranspiration in the Milk and St. Mary River basins.




ECCC, Alberta Environment and Parks