Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2011TX397B

Effects of woody vegetation removal on groundwater recharge in the Carrizo-Wilcox aquifer

Institute: Texas
Year Established: 2011 Start Date: 2011-01-01 End Date: 2012-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $5,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $10,002

Principal Investigators: April Mattox, Jason West

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.