State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2012MS158B
Title: Analysis of Precipitation Variability and Related Groundwater Patterns over the Lower Mississippi River Alluvial Valley
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2012
End Date: 2/28/2013
Congressional District: 3rd
Focus Categories: Climatological Processes, Water Quantity, Groundwater
Keywords: Watershed Management, Water Resources Development
Principal Investigators: Dyer, Jamie; Mercer, Andrew Edward
Federal Funds: $ 17,618
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 44,804
Abstract: The lower Mississippi River alluvial valley (LMRAV) is characterized by a humid sub-tropical climate, with agriculture playing a major role in land cover, economic, and hydrologic processes. A large portion of the agricultural land relies on rainfall for crop sustainability, leading to an increased sensitivity of crop production to atmospheric processes; therefore, it is critical to quantify the frequency and distribution of precipitation over the LMRAV. Due to the unknown specifics of meteorological modifications in the region, along with continually changing anthropogenic needs on the groundwater system, it is difficult for water resource managers to make sound decisions for future water sustainability. This project will address water availability over the LMRAV through an assessment of historical precipitation variability, including quantification of rainfall patterns using both radar-derived and surface measured rainfall data. 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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