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Station Water Balance Charts
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Water Balance Info:
The two largest components of the hydrologic cycle are precipitation and evapotranspiration (
Watch the CoCoRaHS Water Cycle Animation
). A water balance chart is basically a graphical accounting system to track incoming moisture (precipitation) and outgoing (evapotranspiration). When precipitation equals or exceeds evaporation there is a surplus of water leading to lush vegetation, soil moisture recharge and possibly bountiful runoff and streamflow. But when evapotranspiration consistently exceeds precipitation, vegetation may wilt, streamflow may diminish and irrigation water may be required to keep lawns, gardens and fields green and growing.
Actual evapotranspiration is difficult to measure and document. CoCoRaHS utilized an ETgage to approximate grass reference potential evaporation -- the amount of water a fully watered turf would use given the current meteorological conditions.
Measuring ET (Evapotranspiration) Video
Measuring ET (Evapotranspiration) Resources
Current Chart Limitations:
To run quickly, the chart data is precalcuated daily. For this reason, data entered today will not be available on the charts until tomorrow.
The chart does not yet display multi-day precipitation data.
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