Submitted to: Grazinglands Research Laboratory Miscellaneous Publication
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: October 17, 2008
Publication Date: October 18, 2008
Citation: Garbrecht, J.D., Starks, P.J., Ross, J.D. 2008. History of the USDA-ARS Watershed, Water Resources and Climate Research at Chickasha, Durant, and El Reno, Oklahoma. Grazinglands Research Laboratory Miscellaneous Publication, Grazinglands Research Laboratory, A Historical Perspective. p. 8-14. Interpretive Summary: Abstract only.
Technical Abstract: The watershed, water resources and climate research conducted at the Great Plains Agroclimate and Natural Resources Research Unit at the USDA, ARS Grazinglands Research Laboratory in El Reno, Oklahoma, is rooted in events reaching as far back as the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. In this narrative for the 60th anniversary of the research laboratory at Fort Reno, the historical background and evolution of this research program is retraced, and significant contributions to society are highlighted. The first section retraces early soil and water conservation milestones between 1929 and 1961. In subsequent sections major research objectives, experimental watershed facilities and notable research findings are described for large time periods after 1961. The effectiveness of SCS flood retarding structures and flood abatement on Washita River watersheds was the primary research topic at the Southern Great Plains Watershed Research Center in Chickasha from 1961 through 1978. Watershed, water quality, numerical modeling, and remote sensing research on the Little Washita River experimental watershed was conducted in Durant from 1978 through 1996. After 1996, research was conducted out of the Grazinglands Research Laboratory in El Reno. The two major research topics were impacts of climate variability and forecasts on water resources and agricultural productivity, and assessment of downstream water quality benefits of conservation measures in large agricultural watershed.