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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Sustainable Water Management Research » Research » Research Project #440443

Research Project: Decision Support Tools to Address Sustainable Water Management Issues in the Mississippi Delta

Location: Sustainable Water Management Research

Project Number: 6066-13000-006-010-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 1, 2021
End Date: Jan 31, 2025

Develop an integrated modeling framework for agricultural water management in the Mississippi Delta region by 1) integrating DSSAT, SWAT, and MODFLOW models, and 2) examining different scenarios that affect crop production, water use, and groundwater levels.

An integrated modeling framework will be developed to examine different scenarios that affect crop yield, water use, and surface water in the MDR, and groundwater decline in the Mississippi River Valley Alluvial Aquifer (MRVAA). The Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT) will be used to simulate yield and water use of major crops grown in the MDR. DSSAT will be linked to the Soil Water Assessment Model (SWAT) and MODFLOW. Data required for model simulations will include crop types, land use, elevation, soil, hydrology, climate, aquifer characteristics, and groundwater pumping rate. The model will be used to evaluate historical conditions (1980-2020) and current crop management and irrigation practices. Different scenarios will be examined including projected climate conditions (2020-2050), alternative crops, shift to more efficient irrigation systems, and changes in surface and ground water withdrawals. Output variables from DSSAT simulations include plant growth components, crop yield, and total seasonal irrigation water use. MODFLOW outputs such as water table elevation and groundwater flow rates in the MRVAA will be analyzed. Changes in crop yields and water table elevation as a result of projected climate conditions and changes in management practices will be analyzed to provide guidance on water management strategies that can sustain crop production in the MDR while mitigating groundwater decline in the MRVAA.