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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Preserving Groundwater Quality and Availability for Agriculture

Location: Delta Water Management Research Unit

Project Number: 6252-13000-001-01
Project Type: Specific Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jul 01, 2014
End Date: Jun 30, 2019

Objective:
Develop integrated land management strategies in the production of major row crops in the Lower Mississippi River Basin that improve water use efficiency and reduce excess nutrient loss from production fields and drainage systems while sustaining or improving production yield.

Approach:
USDA-ARS and Arkansas State University-Jonesboro (ASUJ) are both interested in the preservation and enhancement of water resources regionally and specifically in the Arkansas Delta. 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. Row-crop agriculture in Arkansas (primarily located in the eastern half of the state) is dependent upon 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 to meet the agricultural production needs while also ensuring a stable water source. In addition to development of modeling resources, both groups will work to support the broad dissemination of modeling techniques via known scientific research channels. This will provide others with experience gained by researching groundwater issues in the Mississippi River Delta.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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