The Lower Mississippi River Basin is one of the most productive and intensively irrigated agricultural regions in the nation with 90% of the irrigation water pumped coming from the Mississippi River Valley Alluvial Aquifer. Overdrawing this shallow productive aquifer is negatively impacting agricultural productivity and profitability, base flows of streams, water quality, and aquatic and riparian habitats. Currently, scientists from USDA-ARS and Mississippi State University are conducting research and extension activities on water-related issues.
The National Center for Alluvial Aquifer Research (NCAAR) was established by Congress in 2017 as a cooperative program between USDA’s Agricultural Research Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station at Mississippi State. NCAAR was created to address the water resources challenges in Mississippi River Alluvial Aquifer.
The mission of NCAAR is to conduct research and provide information for issues surrounding water use for agriculture and natural resources in the Lower Mississippi Basin (LMRB).
NCAAR aims to produce and communicate research directed at the conservation and sustainability of water resources for agriculture that include: developing water-efficient cropping systems, improving water capture, improving water distribution systems and irrigation efficiencies, use of water-saving irrigation management options, and developing economic risk assessment tools that enable producers to identify profitable, water-efficient production options.