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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Grasslands and groundwater: what's the connection?

item Daniel, John
item Venuto, Bradley
item Lucas, Tom

Submitted to: Soil and Water Conservation Society
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/15/2008
Publication Date: 10/20/2008
Citation: Daniel, J.A., Venuto, B.C., Lucas, T. 2008. Grasslands and groundwater: what's the connection?[abstract]. Soil and Water Conservation Society, Farming with Grass Conference, October 20-22, 2008, Oklahoma City, Oklahom. Available:

Interpretive Summary: Abstract only.

Technical Abstract: Grasslands, either improved pastures or native rangelands, are a crucial component of the hydrologic system, and provide vast surface areas for infiltration and groundwater recharge from precipitation. The soil profile also behaves as a filter that removes many contaminants from percolating water and helps maintain clean water needed for increasing populations. This paper examines the impact of removal of invasive red cedar from grazingland and its influence on shallow groundwater conditions during grassland recovery. A site of red cedar infestation and subsequent removal was chosen near Woodward, OK. A network of nine shallow groundwater wells was installed to monitor water levels and provide access for water samples. The network is set up in a 3 x 3 grid to monitor, in replicate, three surface conditions. The three conditions are: cleared sites adjacent to the river (CR), cleared sites not adjacent to river (C), uncleared sites (UC). Stream flow measurements are also being collected. Because of the high water demands and aggressive nature of red cedar, a positive ground water response is anticipated. The project will determine what impacts red cedar removal has on water table levels and if restored grasslands can stabilize water table levels. A stabilized water table level should provide consistent baseflow contributions to the stream, provide summer stream flow when it is most needed and promote grassland production for grazing of livestock nd wildlife.

Last Modified: 09/19/2017
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