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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Sustainable Water Management Research » Research » Research Project #442187

Research Project: Development of Best Management Practices and Technologies to Optimize Water Use in the Lower Mississippi River Basin

Location: Sustainable Water Management Research

Project Number: 6066-13000-006-019-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jul 1, 2022
End Date: Jun 30, 2027

1. To investigate, conduct research, and solve problems related to the conservation and sustainability of water resources in the Lower Mississippi River Basin (LMRB). 2. Develop robust datasets, models, and data visualization tools to determine the impact of alternate water supplies on aquifer recharge and groundwater levels in the LMRB. 3. Develop optimized irrigation scheduling tools for cropping systems in the LMRB that account for crop water requirements, impacts of water stress, and economic and environmental sustainability while minimizing water usage. 4. Develop new and novel sensor systems and that include optimized telemetry and efficiently integrate with decision support models and tools for prescription irrigation and water resource management. 5. Evaluate and improve current best management practices or develop new practices based on new and novel approaches that stochastically account for interaction effects of irrigation, planting, fertility and pest management, and implementation of conservation practices including cover crops, tillage methods, edge-of-field buffers, surface water storage/use, and soil health. 6. Engage LMRB stakeholders through our MSU research and Extension partners to characterize producer behavior and attitudes with respect to irrigation and water conservation management and introducing them to cutting edge digital tools, technologies, and best management practices. 7. Develop and validate algorithms/models using remote sensing and eddy covariance methods to improve evapotranspiration (ET) estimates and water productivity at field and regional scales to improve the predictability and forecasting capabilities of the LMRB cropping systems models to more robustly address the impacts of climate change.

The project will assess the profitability and risks associate with integrated production agriculture and conservation systems in the Mid-South and to develop and encourage the adoption of water delivery and crop production systems that conserve water, protect water quality and availability, and improve profitability. This endeavor will assess hydrology, runoff, remote sensing, and water use efficiency at both plot and field scales. Imperative in this project is the analysis of economic factors and producer practices that impact the adoption and implementation of new or improved technologies and practices.