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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: SUSTAINABLE GROUNDWATER MANAGEMENT UNDER VARIABLE CLIMATE AND LAND USE CHANGE

Location: Great Plains Agroclimate and Natural Resources Research Unit

2010 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
The objective of this cooperative research project is to conduct research into integrated approaches to enhance the sustainable development and use of groundwater resources to support agriculture, industry, drinking water, and environmental requirements.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Research will be conducted in the Calera Basin, Zacatecas, Mexico; the Fort Cobb Basin and Rush Springs Aquifer, Oklahoma, USA: and the Ogallala Aquifer in the Southern High Plains of the USA. The research will involve broad stakeholder groups and diverse university, federal, state, and local researchers, educators, policy makers, and outreach specialists within each basin of interest. Methods will include geophysical and socioeconomic characterization utilizing remote sensing, field measurement, and surveys. Simulation models of surface and subsurface hydrology will be applied to climatic, technology, management, and policy scenarios of interest. Results of scenario analyses will be developed into decision support products, working closely with decision makers, and delivered to water managers and policy makers.


3.Progress Report

A collaborative team meeting was held in October 2009, in Zacatecas, Mexico, to review progress and set goals for future work. With support from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service and the Mexico Mission of USAID and ARS-ONP, the team focused on technological and management options to meet the water policy objective of limited extractions from the aquifer. A master's-level graduate student under the direction of the Cooperator PI worked as an intern with ARS scientists at Bushland, Texas, and El Reno, Oklahoma, to develop GIS and model input files for the Calera basin. Climate and geographic data files were prepared by UAZ and sent to ARS for joint analysis of historic patterns of precipitation and temperature. The ARS teams at El Reno and Bushland have entered into a joint effort to link surface and subsurface hydrologic models for application in the Ogallala, Rush Springs, and Calera aquifer assessments. At a team meeting in Bushland, Texas, in July 2010, the team identified more efficient irrigation technology as the first priority for scenario analysis for water conservation, followed by increased recharge in rangelands and changes in cropping systems, and developed a plan to collect additional data for ModFlow calibration. The ADODR monitored progress of the project through meetings, e-mails, and telephone conversations.


Last Modified: 9/22/2014
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