Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2020LA034B

Managed Aquifer Storage and Recovery in Coastal Louisiana

Institute: Louisiana
Year Established: 2020 Start Date: 2020-02-27 End Date: 2021-02-25
Total Federal Funds: $20,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $40,002

Principal Investigators: Emad Habib

Abstract: Stresses on freshwater resources are rising due to increases in water demands and the increase in frequency and duration of droughts. Even in relatively wet regions, such as the south central and eastern coastal regions in the USA, water demands have increased substantially over time and resulted in alarming stresses on the surface and groundwater systems. Over-pumping in coastal regions, such as the Chicot Aquifer in southwest Louisiana, has led to consequences such as subsidence and saltwater intrusion. This project proposes to evaluate the suitability of Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) as an innovative water management approach in the humid coastal southwest region of Louisiana, USA. The project will examine the feasibility of ASR in the Chicot Aquifer in coastal Louisiana conceptually using a geospatial framework, combined numerical modeling techniques. The project will also assess the potential utility of ASR in providing flood mitigation benefits to the region. The project will result in the formulation of a highly flexible ASR site suitability index applied to the Chicot aquifer region in southwest Louisiana. The index will be applied at a HUC12 watershed scale where information on rivers and streams are used as potential water sources for ASR operations. The index will integrate different criteria that capture primary factors for ASR feasibility: aquifer characteristics, water availability, water quality, and land use. The approach will assess the importance of water quality as a critical consideration for ASR using historical data that capture salinity levels in both surface and groundwater. Using hydraulic simulations, the project will assess the potential effectiveness of surface water capture and injection at the local level in mitigating flood impacts frequently encountered in coastal Louisiana and other low gradient regions.