Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2019SD237B

Mitigating impacts of excess water quantity through improved soil health

Institute: South Dakota
Year Established: 2019 Start Date: 2019-05-31 End Date: 2020-05-30
Total Federal Funds: $8,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $16,000

Principal Investigators: John McMaine

Abstract: In recent years, South Dakota has experienced increased precipitation and in some cases flooding and economic loss. While there are multiple factors contributing to flooding, including changes in precipitation and land use changes, it is prudent to determine ways to mitigate flooding. It is likely that a solution will come through the implementation of a suite of tools including in-field and edge-of-field practices. While there is no single solution to mitigate these issues, improved soil health (use of cover crops and no-till to increase organic matter, water holding capacity, and infiltration) has the potential to capture and store excess precipitation which would decrease downstream flooding and rising lake levels. This project will use a field-scale model (SPAW - Soil, Plant, Atmosphere, Water) to determine water quantity reduction resulting from the implementation of soil health practices (cover crops and no-till) under different soil and slope conditions present in the Bitter Lake watershed in South Dakota.