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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Sustainable Water Use Research in the Lower Mississippi River Basin

Location: Delta Water Management Research Unit

Project Number: 6024-13000-001-00
Project Type: Appropriated

Start Date: Oct 01, 2013
End Date: Dec 31, 2016

Objective:
Objective 1: Conduct hydrological system studies to measure, model and predict the impact of current and innovative farming practices and associated ground and surface water withdrawals on water availability and quality. Objective 2: Develop economical and environmentally sound irrigation and drainage management tools, practices, and technologies that conserve water and protect regional water resources and supplies. Objective 3: Conduct both short- and long-term hydrological system analyses at edge-of-field, watershed, and landscape scales, to measure, model, and predict the impacts of current and innovative farming practices on water quality, against a background of climate variability, land use change, and increasing global demands for agricultural products linked to population growth, and develop sustainable (i.e., economically, environmentally, and socially sound) management tools, conservation practices, and technologies that sustain or enhance agricultural production in the LMRB, while improving regional water quality.

Approach:
To preserve the quantity and quality of irrigation water supplies in the Lower Mississippi River Basin, it is necessary to consider the range of crops, soils, and production systems; the types of irrigation and drainage systems employed; the level of runoff water recycling employed; and the different water sources available. This project will address ways to improve the sustainability of groundwater supplies by investigating alternative irrigation methods for the crops currently produced in the region. Production system evaluations will include on-farm research with active participation by crop producers and crop advisors. Data collected from on-farm evaluations will be used to inform, enhance and validate existing hydrology models. Findings from this research are expected to reduce agricultural reliance on groundwater and improve water resources management, inform decision makers of potential impacts of conservation practices, and arm producers with tools and technologies that conserve water resources while maintaining crop yield.

Last Modified: 11/1/2014
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