State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2011TX397B
Title: Effects of woody vegetation removal on groundwater recharge in the Carrizo-Wilcox aquifer
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 1/01/2011
End Date: 2/28/2012
Congressional District: 23
Focus Categories: Groundwater, Ecology, Management and Planning
Keywords: recharge, unconsolidated aquifer, critical zone, range management, groundwater
Principal Investigators: Mattox, April; West, Jason (Texas A&M University)
Federal Funds: $ 5,000
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 10,002
Abstract: The Carrizo-Wilcox aquifer is an important source of water for agricultural and municipal needs across approximately 60 counties in Texas. As use of the aquifer increases and managers look for methods to increase recharge rates, understanding the effects of woody vegetation removal on recharge is becoming more important. However, surprisingly little research has been done to quantify the impacts of such actions on recharge. This project will investigate the impacts of woody vegetation removal from the recharge zone of the Carrizo-Wilcox aquifer on downward fluxes of vadose zone soil moisture in a replicated field experiment. Given the difficulties associated with quantifying recharge in semi-arid systems such as this one, we employ multiple indirect methods across the experiment, validated by an intensive instrumentation effort. The proposed research will provide quantitative information needed by the groundwater conservation districts and landowners throughout the region.

Progress/Completion Report, 2011, PDF

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