Assessing agriculture conservation practice impacts on groundwater levels at watershed scale

  • Authors: Ni, Xiaojing; Parajuli, Prem B.; Ouyang, Ying
  • Publication Year: 2020
  • Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
  • Source: Water Resources Management
  • DOI: 10.1007/s11269-020-02526-3


Over the last several decades, increased groundwater usage by agriculture with a consequence
of groundwater resource depletion has motivated the discussion of sustainability
of groundwater resource. In this study, to investigate the impacts of agricultural best
management practices (BMPs) on groundwater level, two kinds of conservation practices
and five scenarios of tail water recovery pond and crop rotation were simulated by various
groundwater recharge and pumping plans in Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT)
and MODFLOW models in an agriculture watershed in Mississippi, U.S.. The calibrated
and validated ground water model indicated coefficient of determination (R2) of 0.81 and
Nash–Sutcliffe model efficiency coefficient (NSE) of 0.79 respectively. The results from
this study showed that the groundwater recharge changed with irrigation plans and
surface hydrological impact of management practices. In addition, it determined that tail
water recovery pond could help mitigate groundwater depletion. The groundwater recharge
due to continuous corn crop scenario was 7% higher in average than that of the
continuous soybean. Non-growing season groundwater recharge may be critical for
groundwater recovery. The average groundwater level was increased continuous corn
scenario by 15%, continuous soybean by 13%, and corn-soybean by 14% as compare to
the baseline scenario with rice planted. Results of this study can be helpful for planning
on how various BMPs impact on groundwater.

  • Citation: Ni, Xiaojing; Parajuli, Prem B.; Ouyang, Ying. 2020. Assessing agriculture conservation practice impacts on groundwater levels at watershed scale. Water Resources Management. 34(4): 1553-1566.
  • Keywords: BMPs, Groundwater, MODFLOW, SWAT, Tail water recovery pond
  • Posted Date: July 27, 2020
  • Modified Date: August 5, 2020
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