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Potential Infiltration Gallery Locations in the Cache River Critical Groundwater Area

Authors: John Nowlin*, Arkansas State University, Daniel D Shults, Arkansas State University, Joseph H Massey, USDA-ARS Delta Water Management Research Unit, Michele L Reba, USDA-ARS Delta Water Management Research Unit, Mary A Yaeger, The University of Memphis
Topics: Water Resources and Hydrology, Agricultural Geography, Human-Environment Geography
Keywords: irrigation, groundwater, rice, agriculture, infiltration gallery
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Arkansas produces more rice than any other state. Rice production is concentrated in the eastern third of the state in the physiographic region known as the Lower Mississippi River Valley (LMRV). The northern portion of the LMRV is divided roughly in half by a geological formation known as Crowley’s Ridge. The aquifer immediately below the surface of this region is known as the Mississippi River Valley alluvial aquifer (MRVA). This is the third most pumped aquifer in the U.S., behind the Plains States’ Ogallala Aquifer and California’s Central Valley Aquifer. While irrigation is decreasing these two aquifers, it is increasing in the MRVA. Crowley’s Ridge separates two portions of the MRVA from each other. In portions west of Crowley’s Ridge, primarily due to rice irrigation, the aquifer is being depleted rapidly. One of these areas of falling water tables is known as the Cache River Critical Groundwater Area (CRCGA). Three methods of responding to the decreasing groundwater in this region are: agricultural methods to improve rice irrigation efficiencies, development of surface water storage, and development of infiltration galleries. This paper will present an experimental site suitability model designed help select potential infiltration gallery sites.

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