Toward Sustainability of the High Plains Aquifer Region: Coupled Landscape, Atmosphere, and Socioeconomic Systems [2010 - 2014]

Co-Principal Investigators:
  • Jinhua Zhao
  • (PI) David Hyndman, other (Co-Pi’s) Anthony Kendall, Stephen Gasteyer, Nathan Moore, Warren Wood, and Shiyuan Zhong.

Project end date: September 30, 2014

This project is funded by the National Science Foundation under work of the Coupled Landscape, Atmosphere, and Socioeconomic Systems (CLASS).  Implementation is led by the Geological Sciences Department at MSU with collaborations from other Faculty/Departments.

The High Plains region hosts some of the most productive irrigated agricultural land in the United States due to the vast Ogallala-High Plains aquifer (HPA) complex, but much of this system is on a fundamentally unsustainable path due to extensive groundwater withdrawals since the 1930s. The future of this region will be dictated by a range of state and local laws and regulations, complex economic drivers, variable soil productivity and saturated thicknesses, and a changing climate that is forecast to increase the severity of existing regional precipitation and evapotranspiration gradients.

This interdisciplinary project examines the coupled landscape, atmospheric and socioeconomic systems (CLASS) associated with the HPA through linking process-based climate, hydrology, dynamic vegetation, and econometrics models.

Implementation:  Oct. 2010 – Sept. 2014.

View NSF information on this research project.
View Department of Geological Sciences information on this project.