Overview of Water Quality and Water Resource Research in the Water Quality and Ecology Research Unit, Oxford, MS

Author(s): Wade Steinriede, R.; Locke, M.; Testa, S.

The Water Quality and Ecology Research Unit (WQERU) is part of the United States Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) National Sedimentation Laboratory located in Oxford, Mississippi. The stated research mission of the WQERU is to “address issues of water quality/quantity and watershed ecosystem function. Investigations pursue complimentary approaches that consider the entire landscape.” This poster outlines some WQERU research that was designed to address issues relating to storm water and irrigation runoff associated with agricultural fields. Current research can be outlined in three main objectives: Objective 1) Evaluate farm and land management practices that have the potential to affect associated environmental issues such as sediment, nutrients, and water quantity. This type of research ranges from plot studies to monitoring and evaluation on the watershed scale. Objective 2) Characterize and quantify the structure, function, and processes of ecosystems associated with agriculture and their response to changes in land management. Objective 3) Perform integrated assessments of the effects of agriculture on ecosystem services for watershed-scale endpoints. This includes long-term watershed-scale monitoring programs along with modeling and using data collected from sampling and monitoring to improve the models. Through the use of a holistic grouping of studies, the WQERU is addressing needs for knowledge in the agricultural landscape.

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