Louisiana: Grant Focuses on Decreasing Usage of Groundwater

Rice irrigated with poly pipe. ©Debra L Ferguson

A group of LSU AgCenter scientists have been awarded one of 20 national grants to look at ways to decrease the use of groundwater and increase the use of fresh water in agricultural production.

The grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resource Conservation Service will provide vital information on what’s in runoff water and how it can be reused on farms.

LSU AgCenter agronomist Changyoon Jeong said water availability is a critical limitation to crop production and sustainability in many regions, including Louisiana.

With water conservation-consciousness at a high level, Jeong and his team will use the two constructed wetlands at the AgCenter Red River Research to look for ways to reuse the precious resource.

The research will eventually benefit everyone, but Jeong sees early help for most farmers who are pumping out groundwater, which is limited.

“So this will be a way to help the farmers to save some money,” he said. “And I am really interested in saving as much groundwater as possible.”

Jeong said tailwater recovery systems help supplement traditional irrigation by capturing runoff water and allowing it to be reused for agriculture.

This type research is designed to affect soil health and nutrient problems, he said.

This $595,172 three-year grant marks the first time in almost five years that an AgCenter scientist has received the grant.

Others working with Jeong on the grant are AgCenter researchers Jim J. Wang and Syam K. Dodla.

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