Water Use Conservation Scenarios for the Mississippi Delta Using an Existing Regional Groundwater Flow Model

Author(s): Barlow, J.; Clark, B.

The alluvial plain in northwestern Mississippi, locally referred to as the Delta, is a major agricultural area, which contributes significantly to the economy of Mississippi. Land use in this area can be greater than 90 percent agriculture, primarily for growing catfish, corn, cotton, rice, and soybean. Irrigation is needed to smooth out the vagaries of climate and is necessary for the cultivation of rice and for the optimization of corn and soybean. The Mississippi River Valley alluvial (MRVA) aquifer, which underlies the Delta, is the sole source of water for irrigation, and over use of the aquifer has led to water-level declines, particularly in the central region. The Yazoo-Mississippi-Delta Joint Water Management District (YMD), which is responsible for water issues in the 17-county area that makes up the Delta, is directing resources to reduce the use of water through conservation efforts. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) recently completed a regional groundwater flow model of the entire Mississippi embayment, including the Mississippi Delta region, to further our understanding of water availability within the embayment system. This model is being used by the USGS to assist YMD in optimizing their conservation efforts by applying various water-use reduction scenarios, either uniformly throughout the Delta, or in focused areas where there have been large groundwater declines in the MRVA aquifer.

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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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