Modeling Technique for Reservoir Identification in Eastern Arkansas

Authors: Daniel Shults*, Arkansas State University, John W Nowlin, Arkansas State University, Michele L Reba, USDA ARS Delta Water Management Research Unit, Joseph H Massey, USDA ARS Delta Water Management Research Unit, Ahmed Hashem, Arkansas State University
Topics: Water Resources and Hydrology, Agricultural Geography, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: Arkansas, irrigation, reservoir, model
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/9/2021
Start / End Time: 1:30 PM / 2:45 PM
Room: Virtual 34
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Arkansas ranks third in the U.S. for irrigated cropland. The most intensive agricultural region of the state is Eastern Arkansas, known locally as the Arkansas Delta. This region coincides with the physiographic province known as the Mississippi Alluvial Plane. Due to over utilization and low rates of recharge, the Mississippi River Valley Alluvial Aquifer (MRVAA) west of Crowley’s Ridge, in the Cache River and L'Anguille River watersheds is at risk of being depleted. With the relatively high precipitation levels in this region (48 in. annually), surface water utilization is increasing and on-farm reservoirs are being installed. These reservoirs allow for utilizing available surface water, collecting precipitation, and reusing water drained from fields. Currently, there is not an efficient method for differentiating irrigation reservoirs from other bodies of water and there are no authoritative datasets which identify all on-farm reservoirs across the region. This project highlights a novel set of methods for detecting and categorizing water bodies as on-farm reservoirs. This is done by identifying bodies of water, then observing their relative elevation in relation to the surrounding terrain. By using data from a recent reservoir identification project, this model was able to verify that 84% of the bodies of water identified as reservoirs.

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