Publication Date


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Master of Science in Civil Engineering


Civil Engineering

Major Advisor

Venkataramana Sridhar, Ph.D.


Water is the lifeblood of Idaho agricultural practices. Under future climate, water shortages may occur and better water management will need to occur under these conditions. The role of irrigation under a changing climate has not been previously investigated in the Snake River Basin. Irrigation schemes implemented in the NOAH Land Surface Model are tested within the Weather Research and Forecast Model 3.4 at 4-km resolution. The goals of this research are to investigate the effect of irrigation-induced cooling on local and regional climate in Southern Idaho, under present and future climate projections, and to diagnose irrigation-induced changes to surface energy fluxes and characteristics of boundary-layer meteorology. The control run versus irrigated run analysis, from 2010-2012, revealed irrigation induced cooling of the 2-meter temperature via evaporation, a decrease of the average growing season planetary boundary layer height and increase in the average growing season 2-meter dewpoint over the cropland (irrigated) grid-cells. The study reveals future trends in irrigation and evaporation based on dynamical downscaling of two global climate models from 2040-2045 and 2040-2070. With a better understanding of the evapotranspiration in southern Idaho, water can be better managed through all users in Idaho in drought conditions and in a changing climate.