ASSESSING URBAN DROUGHTS IN A SMART CITY FRAMEWORK
Keywords: Urban Drought, Evapotranspiration, Surface Resistance, Smart City Framework, Water Resiliency, STIC
Abstract. This study aims to integrate environmental data for drought monitoring to reduce uncertainty in urban drought characterization as part of the smart city framework. Currently, drought monitoring in urban areas is a challenge. This is due, in part, to a lack of knowledge on the subject of urban droughts and urban drought vulnerability. A critical part to assessing urban drought and implementing the necessary policies is determining drought conditions. Often the timing and severity of the drought can leave cities to enforce water restrictions, so accuracy of this determination has socioeconomic implications. To determine drought conditions, we need to know the water balance over the urban landscape, of which evapotranspiration (ET) is a key variable. However, ET data and models have high uncertainty when compared to other hydrological variables (i.e., precipitation). This is largely due to ill-defined empirical models for characterizing the urban surface resistance parameter (rs) that is used in ET calculations. We propose a method to estimate rs values using a combination of the Surface Temperature Initiated Closure (STIC) method that calculates regional evapotranspiration data and an inverted version of the Penman-Monteith equation. We use this approach across the region surrounding Indianapolis, IN (USA) from 2010-2014. We discuss the potential for this method to be integrated in to smart city framework to improve urban drought assessment.