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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Oxford, Mississippi » National Sedimentation Laboratory » Water Quality and Ecology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #70558


item Schreiber, Jonathon
item Cooper, Charles
item Knight, Scott
item Smith Jr, Sammie

Submitted to: American Water Resources Association Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/1/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Analysis of the water quality literature indicates that not all expectations of the 1972 Clean Water Act have been realized. One reason for failure to achieve these expectations has been the lack of scientifically sound water quality research studies on a watershed basis to document changes in water quality due to the implementation of best management practices. The Mississippi Delta Management Systems Evaluation Area (MSEA) Project is designed to meet these needs by providing for an evaluation of best management practices and their effect not only on water quality, but also on the ecological health of small Delta oxbow lake watersheds. The results of this study should fulfill present, and also future demands as might be made by further re-authorization of the Clean Water Act.

Technical Abstract: Maintaining crop production without affecting water quality continues to be major challenge to the U. S. agricultural industry. This is especially true for the physiographic region known as the Mississippi Delta, one of the more productive agricultural areas in the U. S. The purpose of this project is to assess how agricultural activities affect the ecological health of Delta watersheds, the quality of surface and ground water, and increase the knowledge to design and evaluate Best Management Practices (BMPs) as components of farming systems to reduce agricultural contamination of ground and surface water. The selected study sites consist the three Delta oxbow lake watersheds. Cotton is the primary crop in each watershed. One watershed will serve as control, while the other two watersheds will be used to implement BMPs. This water quality study is most unique in that whole watershed (closed systems) studies are coupled with oxbow lakes to measure agricultural impact and effects of improvement on water resources. Study areas are small enough to bring improvements to a significant portion of the watershed such that changes in water quality can be measurably affected. The Mississippi Delta MSEA Project is cooperatively administered by a consortium of local, state, and federal agencies.