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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Preserving Groundwater Quality and Availability for Agriculture

Location: Watershed Physical Processes Research Unit

Project Number: 6408-13000-024-01
Project Type: Specific Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 01, 2010
End Date: Aug 31, 2015

Objective:
Reduce reliance on groundwater and maintain the quality of groundwater and surface water sources for agricultural uses through improved water management in agricultural systems.

Approach:
USDA-ARS and Arkansas State University (ASU) are both interested in the preservation and enhancement of water resources in both the Arkansas Delta and the Grand Prairie. While water availability (both surface and groundwater) is reasonable to the east of Crowley’s Ridge, water quality is an issue. To the west of Crowley’s Ridge, both water availability (particularly groundwater) and water quality are serious concerns. Plant-based agriculture in Arkansas (primarily located in the eastern half of the state) is dependent on irrigation and Arkansas ranks 4th in the U.S. in irrigated acreage. Thus, the sustainability of agriculture and water resources in Arkansas are very closely linked. Ways must be found to increase the efficiency of water use while also improving the quality of the water resources in the state. In addition to development of modeling resources, both groups will work to support the broad dissemination of modeling techniques via known scientific research channels such as TerraGrid. This will provide others with experience gained by researching groundwater issues in the Mississippi Delta.

Last Modified: 4/19/2014
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