Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Tagert, Mary Love

Committee Member

Paz, Joel

Committee Member

Yasarer, Lindsey

Committee Member

Krutz, L. Jason

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

Visible to MSU only for 1 year

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Biological Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering


Exploitation of groundwater and excess nutrient runoff are major issues plaguing agriculture and streams in the Lower Mississippi River Basin, and increased irrigation intensity has yielded a proportionate increase in water use. Quantifying the use and effects of conservation practices like on-farm water storage (OFWS) systems will justify continued adoption of these practices to mitigate groundwater decline and nutrient runoff. Since 2010, over 795 hectares of surface water storage has been added in the Big Sunflower River Watershed, and analysis of aquifer saturation shows a recent rise in the water table and a decrease in seasonal water table drawdowns. Modeling pre- and post- construction conditions of a small agricultural subwatershed shows little difference in runoff at the watershed outlet after the construction of an OFWS system, but field monitoring and modeling show more water retained within the system and the importance of management to maximize the benefits of conservation practices.


Support for the research was from the USDA ARS Sustainable Water Management Research Unit agreement 58-6001-8-003, project title Developing Sustainable Production Systems that Improve Water Resources in the Lower Mississippi River Basin Sustainable Water Management Research Unit is a component of the National Center for Alluvial Aquifer Research. The agreement was with the Mississippi Water Resources Research Institute.