Online Drought Indicators and Indices

Soil Water Storage (SWS)

 

Index Name: Soil Water Storage (SWS)

Ease of use: Red

Origins: Unknown – producers have been trying to measure soil moisture accurately since the beginning of agriculture.

Characteristics: Identifies the amount of available moisture within a plant’s root zone, which depends upon the type of plant and the type of soil. Precipitation and irrigation both affect the results.

Input parameters: Rooting depth, available water storage capacity of the soil type and maximum soil water deficit.

Applications: Used mainly for monitoring drought in agricultural contexts, but can also be a component in drought conditions affecting water availability.

Strengths: Calculations are well known and simple to follow, even using defaults. Many soils and crops have been analysed using this method.

Weaknesses: In areas where the soils are not homogeneous, there may be large changes in small distances.

Resources: Calculations and examples are provided in the reference below.

References: British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture, 2015: Soil Water Storage Capacity and Available Soil Moisture. Water Conservation Fact Sheet.

2 Comments
  1. Nermeen
    December 9, 2019 Reply

    I want datasets for drought

    1. Katrin Ehlert
      December 11, 2019 Reply

      Dear Nermeen

      In order to identify the data needed to calculate the SWS index, please consult the factsheet given in the reference section.
      Please note that the Soil Water Storage Index is an index to determine the water storage capacity of soil and the plant available soil water based on soil properties. It is, as such, intended to inform irrigation.

      Best regards
      IDMP team

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