Seeking Water from Above: Low-Level Helicopter to Fly Above Mississippi Alluvial Plain
Beginning in early November and lasting for several months, a low-level helicopter will begin flying over parts of seven states in the Mississippi Alluvial Plain to acquire a more robust picture of aquifers in the area.
This high-resolution, airborne geophysical survey, coordinated by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists in partnership with local agencies, will provide critical data for the evaluation and management of groundwater resources in the region.
Data gathered will be used to improve the USGS regional water availability computer model, which will assist state and local water management agencies like MDEQ and the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta Joint Water Management District (YMD) in making decisions regarding the Mississippi River Valley Alluvial Aquifer (MRVA).
The MRVA supplies most of the water for irrigation, aquaculture, and wildlife habitat enhancement in the Mississippi Delta. Water levels in this aquifer have declined as demand has increased since the 1980s. The
Delta Sustainable Water Resources Task Force
, led by MDEQ, was formed in 2011 to develop strategies to assure that the Delta will have adequate agricultural water resources for the future.