Water Resource Planning and Solution Implementation in the Mississippi Delta: YMD Joint Water Management District

Author(s): Pennington, D.

The YMD Joint Water Management District was created in 1989 to develop and implement solutions to many of the Delta’s water supply and quality problems. Heavy use of groundwater by agriculture has resulted in declining groundwater levels which are not sustainable and also contribute to loss of stream base flows. YMD has always recognized that efficient use of existing water supplies (conservation) and the development of new water supplies were the only non-regulatory solutions available to address the Delta’s water supply problems. A simple spreadsheet model has been developed to provide 50 year scenario analysis of different conservation and water supply plans. The primary variables of the model are levels of conservation implementation, new water supplies and irrigation expansion. Results of the model indicate that, individually, conservation or new water supply will not have sufficient capacity to create a balanced water budget in the Delta. Both conservation and new water supplies will be needed if we continue to expand irrigated acres at historic rates. Following presentations in the session will go into greater detail about some of YMD’s major efforts to collect water resources information to support planning efforts and our activities related to on-the-ground solutions.

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