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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Little Rivers Watershed Monitoring

Location: Watershed Physical Processes Research Unit

2013 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
The primary objective is to measure the effectiveness of the BMPs associated with the Mississippi River Basin Initiatives (MRBI) via water quality parameter measures (Total Suspended Solids, Turbidity, Dissolved Oxygen, pH, Nitrate, Nitrite, Orthophosphate, Total Nitrogen, Total Phosphorus) prior to, during, and following BMP implementation.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
The Little River Ditches Watershed, listed as impaired due to turbidity and total dissolved solids is a watershed of enormous environmental and economic significance and steps must be taken to ensure its continued use. Water quality measurements of TSS, turbidity, DO, pH, nitrates, nitrites, orthophosphates, total Nitrogen, total phosphorus will be sampled weekly for the duration of the 3-year study. The study sites include three subwatersheds of the Little River Ditches Watershed (08020204).


3.Progress Report:

A comparison of actual accomplishments with the goals and objectives established for the period, the findings of the investigator, or both. Whenever appropriate and the output of programs or projects can be readily quantified, such quantitative data should be related to cost data.

Submitted monitoring proposals for three Mississippi River Basin Initiative Projects for monitoring activity 201/202. These proposals were for locations in the Little River Ditches, Middle Cache and Lower St. Francis Project Areas. Existing edge-of-field monitoring at five paired sites continued through FY 13. In total, 421 samples were collected from 10 monitoring sites in cotton, soybean, and rice. Nutrients analysis was completed on 321 samples during FY 13. Data from the edge-of-field sites has been or will be presented at several conferences by both USDA-ARS and Arkansas State University (ASU) researchers, including Society of Environmental Toxicology (Long Beach, CA), American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting (San Francisco, CA), Soil and Water Conservation Society Annual Meeting (Ft. Worth, TX), and American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (Kansas City, MO). A Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) in collaboration with University of Arkansas for low cost edge-of-field monitoring was funded. A graduate student began research on this project in October of 2012 and is fully funded through the CIG.


Last Modified: 9/2/2014
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