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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Jonesboro, Arkansas » Delta Water Management Research » Research » Research Project #430280

Research Project: Preserving Water Quantity and Quality for Agriculture in the Lower Mississippi River Basin

Location: Delta Water Management Research

Project Number: 6024-13000-003-17-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2016
End Date: Aug 31, 2021

Objective:
Develop integrated land management strategies in the production of major row crops in the Lower Mississippi River Basin that improve regional water resources inventory and water resources management.

Approach:
USDA-ARS and Arkansas State University (ASU) 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 3rd 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.