Watershed Characterization of the Big Sunflower Watershed

Author(s): Young, A.; Moran, M.; Diaz-Ramirez, J.

The emergence of excess nutrient loads in water bodies in the Mississippi Delta has led to their appearance on the 303(d) listing of impaired waters for Mississippi. This project aims to develop and improve analytical tools for the evaluation of nutrient load reductions expected from the implementation of best management practice (BMPs) on some of these water bodies in the delta. In compliance with the Delta Nutrient Reduction Strategies developed by Delta Farmers Advocating Resource Management (F.A.R.M.) and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) the first step in this process is the characterization of the watershed including geology, land use, soil type, hydrology, and water quality issues. The area of study for this project is three sub watersheds within the Big Sunflower Watershed. The Big Sunflower Watershed is the largest watershed in the delta at 221270 acres and is a part of the Yazoo River Basin. Significant characteristics for the watershed were found to be a dominance of agricultural land, poorly drained soils, and the persistence of impaired waters due to extreme nutrient loads. Examination of historical trends shows a decline in the state of the groundwater aquifer and the constant persistence of agricultural land as the major land use type. Availability of nutrient data for the watershed is incredibly limited making it difficult to draw conclusions by comparing past flow and land use data to the occurrence of nutrients in the water bodies of the Big Sunflower Watershed.

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Technical Sessions

Session I Sedimentation
Session II Weather/Climate
Session III Coastal Resources
Session IV Surface Water Management
Session V Wetlands
Session VI Education
Session VII Management/Planning
Session VIII Wetlands
Session IX Delta Groundwater
Session X Nutrients
Session XI Delta Water Resources
Session XII Ports

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