Honors Theses

Date of Award

Summer 8-10-2020

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Department

Public Policy Leadership

First Advisor

Joseph Holland

Second Advisor

Ann Fisher-Wirth

Third Advisor

Cliff Ochs

Relational Format

Thesis/Dissertation

Abstract

This thesis aims to provide a sustainable irrigation alternative that could be easily adopted by farmers in the Mississippi Delta in order to improve water resource management. The Mississippi Alluvial Valley Aquifer, the groundwater system that lies under the Mississippi Delta, is being depleted at rapid rates due to industrial farming and unsustainable, outdated irrigation methods. The intent of this research is to evaluate the water scarcity problem in the Mississippi Delta by assessing water extraction rates and the progression of agriculture in the region. Then, various irrigation methods will be evaluated before a final suggestion is made. Through extensive secondary research, I found that the surge valve irrigation method is the most sustainable, effective, and efficient irrigation alternative that could be easily adopted by farmers in the Mississippi Delta. Surge valve irrigation provides a water-conscious method of irrigation that is economical while being proven to yield similar crop quantities as the current irrigation methods yet cutting down on overall costs. With the widespread adoption of surge valve irrigation, the Mississippi Delta could be on a path to sustainable water resource management and proper aquifer maintenance.

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