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The 2009 ASHS Annual Conference

Establishing a Decision Making Tool to Reduce Drought Vulnerability In Residential Urban Landscapes

Monday, July 27, 2009
Illinois/Missouri/Meramec (Millennium Hotel St. Louis)
Salman D. Al-Kofahi, PhD, Plant and Envirnmental Sciences, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM
Gregg Garfin, University of Arizona
Clyde Fraisse, University of Florida, Gain
Merrill Bean, Plant and Envirnmental Sciences, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM
Rolston St Hilaire, New Mexico State University
Understanding residential landscape preferences has the potential to create a conceptual frame work that can guide drought management strategies.  New Mexico urban landscapes are vulnerable to drought and urban landscapes in Albuquerque, New Mexico’s largest city, are no exception.  The main objectives of this study were to establish a scientifically-based categorization of urban landscapes and to use this knowledge of urban landscape categories to assess their vulnerability to drought. We obtained Albuquerque’s Geographic Information System (GIS) data presented in Environmental System Research Institute (ESRI) shape files.  These files included parcel base maps, municipal limits shape files, zip codes, and land use polygons.  Geographic Information System (GIS) was used to create an integrated map for Albuquerque municipal limits.  Clip, union, and spatial join GIS analysis tools were used to create an integrated map.  The maps’ attribute table had full information from all other layers.  The integrated map gathered residential areas that shared the same income level.  Samples of 400 residential units are being selected randomly and stratified based on a zip code median income.  ENVI FX 4.5 software will be used to extract different types of vegetation from high-resolution (0.15m <sup2</sup>) aerial photographs.  Urban residential landscapes of Albuquerque will be categorized based on the proportion of hardscape and softscape (vegetation cover).  Historical evapotranspiration data will be used to calculate the water budget for different landscape categories.  A user-friendly web-product is being built to allow residents and decision makers to determine water budgets for different landscape categories.  Different scenarios of limited moisture budget will be simulated to assess the vulnerability to drought associated with each specific landscape category.