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CREST PhD student Elius Etienne publishes paper in prestigious Journal of Hydrology

Posted on June 15, 2016

CREST PhD student Elius Etienne publishes paper in prestigious Journal of Hydrology

Elius Etienne is currently a PhD Student in Civil Engineering and works as Graduate Research Assistant and Teaching Assistant at City College - CUNY. His CREST mentors are Prof. Naresh Devineni , and Prof. Reza Khanbilvardi. Originally from Haiti, and one of six children, he obtained his bachelor’s degree in Rural Engineering in 2007 from Haiti State University. His PhD work in hydrology focuses on the development of demand sensitive drought indices, and their use to assess drought impacts for the conterminous United States. His broader research interests include hydro-climatic extremes, water management, water risk assessment, and the proposition of mitigation measures. The abstract for his paper is as follows:

A new drought index is introduced that explicitly considers both water supply and demand. It can be applied to aggregate demand over a geographical region, or for disaggregated demand related to a specific crop or use. Consequently, it is more directly related than existing indices, to potential drought impacts on different segments of society, and is also suitable to use as an index for drought insurance programs targeted at farmers growing specific crops. An application of the index is presented for the drought characterization at the county level for the aggregate demand of eight major field crops in the conterminous United States. Two resiliency metrics are developed and applied with the drought index time series. In addition, a clustering algorithm is applied to the onset times and severity of the worst historical droughts in each county, to identify the spatial structure of drought, relative to the cropping patterns in each county. The geographic relationship of drought severity, drought recovery relative to duration, and resilience to drought is identified, and related to attributes of precipitation and also cropping intensity, thus distinguishing the relative importance of water supply and demand in determining potential drought outcomes.


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