Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2015MS203B

Towards an understanding of surface and groundwater exchange within tailwater recovery systems

Institute: Mississippi
Year Established: 2015 Start Date: 2015-03-01 End Date: 2016-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $9,628 Total Non-Federal Funds: $19,421

Principal Investigators: Eric Dibble, Beth Baker, Joby Czarnecki

Abstract: Substantial withdrawals from the Mississippi Alluvial Aquifer for irrigation have resulted in a long-term trend of decreasing groundwater levels. Agricultural producers are adopting tailwater recovery systems, a best management practice for capturing surface water for re-use, but scientific data is lacking on the ability of these systems to mitigate aquifer depletion. One current area of interest is the potential for these systems to serve as a recharge mechanism. It is proposed that instrumenting tailwater recovery systems of varying age with piezometers, equipped with multiple loggers that measure temperature, atmospheric pressure, and depth, will provide data for a groundwater flow and heat transport model developed using VS2DH. Quantification of ground and surface water exchange could provide additional data for those tasked with estimating Aquifer levels and assist policymakers in designing strategies and guidelines to appropriately manage this vital resource. An additional research question which will be pursued focuses on identifying any water quality impacts resulting from ground and surface water exchange.