Crop Water Use in the Mississippi Delta

Author(s): Kelly, D.

The Yazoo Mississippi Delta Joint Water Management District (YMD) has conducted water use surveys for the past thirteen years to determine the amount of groundwater used from the Mississippi River Valley Alluvial Aquifer (MRVA). These surveys focused on cotton, soybeans, corn, rice, and catfish. Each year begins with roughly 180 sites for investigation. In an effort to determine the most efficient ways to irrigate these crops, irrigation methods for each site are recorded along with the total amount of groundwater used. Additionally, a cost analysis is performed for each site. Electric single crop wells are targeted for this study. Flow rates are obtained throughout the year. Total kilowatts from the electric meter are collected from the sites at least once each month giving YMD a total hours of well operation and cost factors. After an average amount of water per acre by crop is determined, YMD uses a Geographic Information System (GIS) to apply these estimates across the entire delta.
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