2010 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Scientific effort will be directed toward developing ground water budgets through hydrologic studies, evaluation of current farming practices, and water savings through implementation of new and existing water-saving and ground-water recharge practices. Provide solutions through cooperative research with university, federal, state, and local (water district) partners. This research should provide a better understanding of impacts of ground water withdrawals at the field, farm and watershed scales and determine the fate and transport of nutrients and pesticides, and determine how climate, soils and management affect the cycling of these contaminants. Provide information that supports current regional, state and local efforts to address regional groundwater problems.
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.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
To preserve the quantity and quality of ground 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 ground water supplies by investigating alternative irrigation methods for the crops currently produced in the region to improve water use efficiency and developing and exploiting additional surface water sources for irrigation and groundwater recharge. Production system evaluations will include on-farm research with active participation by crop producers and crop advisors. Environmentally sound systems to provide artificial recharge to the primary aquifers will be investigated. Products of this research will include less reliance on ground water in areas with inadequate recharge, approaches to increase ground water recharge, and water-conserving production systems for crops in the region.
An SY recruitment is advertised and is open until 9 Aug 2010. The position description for an IT specialist has been developed and a SF-52 is at the HR level awaiting advertisement. Actions to fund two SCA's with Arkansas State University with FY 10 funds are in the system. Office and laboratory space at Jonesboro, AR, has been identified.