Influence of Spatial Precipitation Patterns on Seasonal Recharge in the lower Mississippi River Alluvial Aquifer

Author(s): Dyer, J.; Mercer, A.

Water resources in the lower Mississippi River alluvial valley play a critical role in agricultural productivity due to the widespread use of irrigation during the growing season. Although the region receives abundant precipitation throughout the year, the unknown specifics of meteorological modifications in the region, along with continually changing anthropogenic needs on the groundwater system, makes it difficult for water resource managers to make sound decisions for future water sustainability. Additionally, agriculture in this region is under considerable strain due to diminishing groundwater availability and the non-sustainable trend in irrigation draws from the alluvial aquifer. As a result, it is crucial to correlate local rainfall patterns with aquifer water levels to better determine the spatial and temporal influence of precipitation on regional groundwater levels. This project will address water availability in the lower Mississippi River alluvial aquifer (LMRAA) over northwest Mississippi through an assessment of historical precipitation variability using high-resolution radar-derived precipitation estimates. This information will be used to estimate current and future precipitation availability over the region, which will be compared with regional groundwater observations to determine the level of interaction between rainfall and sub-surface water levels. Results of this project will aid in determining the natural limits to water resource availability, as well as the relationship between regional precipitation and groundwater variability.

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