Water Resources Management

The Office of Land and Water Resources’ Water Resources Management Division conducts hydrologic investigations and evaluations of the groundwater and surface water resources that are current or potential sources of water supply throughout the state. Following is a list of some duties performed by division personnel:

  • Conduct field studies such as reconnaissance studies of surface geology; participate in test-hole drilling and aquifer pumping tests; measure static water levels in wells; and collect groundwater samples for laboratory analysis.
  • Analyze and interpret water-level data, water quality data, pumping test data, borehole geophysical logs, sample logs, and cores which are used to construct subsurface hydrogeologic maps and cross-sections, other types of maps, hydrographs, profiles, etc.
    Draft documents including reports, maps, cross-sections, etc. presenting results and conclusions of groundwater investigations.
  • Furnish requested information on groundwater resources in Mississippi to the public and industrial and agricultural representatives, as well as local, state, and federal officials and agencies as required.
    Throughout the state, there is a need for accurate assessment of groundwater resources to allow wise long-range planning and development. In order to better characterize the groundwater resources of Mississippi, a coordinated effort has been initiated between the Water Resources Management Division of the Office of Land and Water Resources and the Office of Geology to delineate and map aquifers in the subsurface and connect them with the areas in which they receive recharge by constructing geologic cross-sections and conducting surface geologic mapping.
Hydrologic Investigations

The Office of Land and Water Resources’ Water Resources Management Division conducts hydrologic investigations and evaluations of the groundwater and surface water resources in Mississippi. Hydrologic conditions and water use considerations in certain regions of the state compelled the OLWR to initiate detailed hydrologic investigations in the following areas of the state:

Delta Projects

Water-level data from wells in the MRVA is being collected and evaluated to monitor the effects of pumping and to assist in development of water management practices. OLWR is also working with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) to update, refine, and utilize the Mississippi Delta portion of an existing regional groundwater flow model developed by the USGS. This large-scale regional model covers the entire Mississippi embayment and extends through the primary drinking-water aquifers as part of the Mississippi Embayment Regional Aquifer Study (MERAS). This model will be used to better understand the groundwater flow system, the potential effects of variations in pumping patterns, and to evaluate various water resources management scenarios. New data continue to be collected for integration into the existing groundwater flow model.

New research initiatives include the Delta Drilling Program which has drilled five sets of paired wells in one of the major areas of concern. These paired well sets will be instrumented for real-time data relay. The scope of this project is to provide year-round water level data, and to determine what, if any, water exchange is occurring between aquifers. This project is providing data that can be used for future modeling exercises to forecast the impact, if any, withdrawals from the MRVA may be having on the drinking water aquifers that underlay the MRVA.

Central Mississippi

Projects to evaluate the water resources in central Mississippi are ongoing. Water levels have been taken at wells throughout the area. In addition, water quality samples were collected to determine raw water characteristics from wells screened in the Cockfield, Sparta, and Meridian-upper Wilcox aquifers.

Miocene (Grand Gulf) Aquifers

In the coastal region of the state, an investigation of the fresh water aquifers in Jackson County was initiated. Water level measurements and water samples were taken from public, private, and industrial water wells. Samples for baseline quality data were analyzed in the field for pH, temperature, and conductivity, with more comprehensive evaluation completed at the MDEQ laboratory. Due to the numerous layers of interbedded sand and clay comprising the water bearing formations in Jackson County, numerous cross-sections were developed to better identify where these strata may be located. Further study of recharge areas will continue.

Northeast Mississippi Aquifers

Work is continuing on a project in Lafayette County to characterize the available drinking water supplies. Water samples for baseline water quality information were taken from 32 public water supply wells utilized by the City of Oxford and other rural water associations. These samples were taken from each of the major aquifers in Lafayette County: the Eutaw-McShan, the Ripley, the lower Wilcox, and the Meridian-upper Wilcox.

Surface Water Investigations

Surface water initiatives include performing flow measurements on streams throughout the state in support of the MDEQ Mississippi Benthic Indicator of Stream Quality project. In addition, USGS continuous stream gauging stations are monitored by OLWR to evaluate low flow conditions in streams, or reaches of streams, to ensure the water bodies do not fall below their respective statistical low flow averages. During such low flow events, on-site streamflow measurements are made where necessary to validate special terms and conditions related to surface water permit requirements.

Contact Information

Street Address:
700 North State Street
Jackson, MS 39202

Mailing Address:
Office of Land and Water Resources
Groundwater Division
P. O. Box 2309
Jackson, MS 39225