University of Memphis CAESER

CASE STUDY:

West Tennessee River Basin Authority: Recharge Research

WEST TENNESSEE RIVER BASIN AUTHORITY: RECHARGE RESEARCH

Client: Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, West Tennessee River Basin Authority
Project: Recharge Research

CAESER is assisting the West Tennessee River Basin Authority in assessing the impact of stream restoration projects in West Tennessee. The goal is to determine the ecological benefits of stream restoration and the heightened potential for groundwater recharge through storm water retention.

Our initial pilot study is along an urban stream in Jackson, Tennessee, where deep gully erosion is threatening the structural stability of adjacent houses and a nearby road. We installed soil moisture instrumentation (i.e., lysimeter, tensiometer, and neutron probe access), stream gage monitoring equipment, and a weather station. Biweekly visits to the site monitor changes in soil moisture and stream channel geometry in preparation for stream restoration construction during summer 2016.

The West Tennessee River Basin Authority’s collaboration with CAESAR on aquifer recharge in restored gully fields has contributed to a more refined approach to urban storm water management, water quality improvement and flood risk reduction.

– David Salyers, Executive Director, West Tennessee River Basin Authority

CAESER will continue to monitor the site throughout 2016 and early 2017 to quantify how stream restoration alters in-stream flows, soil moisture, and recharge to the aquifer. Studies such as this help to inform how similar projects implemented throughout West Tennessee may fare toward greater success and assist in the long-term sustainability of our regional groundwater resources.


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