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Water-Quality Analysis of an Intensively Used On-Farm Storage Reservoir in the Northeast Arkansas Delta

Matthew T. Moore, Jon R. Pierce, Jerry L. Farris
Archives of environmental contamination and toxicology 2015 v.69 no.1 pp. 89-94
alluvial plains, Mississippi, sampling, rivers, pesticides, nutrients, lakes, groundwater, aquifers, drainage, farmers, farms, irrigation, irrigation water, risk, streams, toxicity, water quality, water quality analysis, water reservoirs, Arkansas
The use of farm reservoirs for supplemental irrigation is gaining popularity in the Mississippi Alluvial Plain (MAP). Due to depletions of several aquifers, many counties within the MAP have been designated as critical-use groundwater areas. To help alleviate stress on these aquifers, many farmers are implementing storage reservoirs for economic and conservation benefits. When used in tandem with a tailwater recovery system, reservoirs have the potential to trap and transform potential contaminants (e.g., nutrients and pesticides) rather than releasing them through drainage into receiving systems such as lakes, rivers, and streams. Roberts Reservoir is an intensively used, 49-ha on-farm storage reservoir located in Poinsett County, Arkansas. Water-quality analyses and toxicity assessments of the reservoir and surrounding ditches indicated a stable water-quality environment with no observed toxicity present in collected samples. Results of this study suggest that water released into a local receiving stream poses no contaminant risk and could be maintained for irrigation purposes, thereby decreasing the need for additional groundwater depletion.