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Overview of Surface Water Resources in Northeast Mississippi
Proceedings of the 2019 Mississippi Water Resources Conference
Year: 2019 Authors: Henley L.
Mississippi water law (§ 51-3-1) calls for the conjunctive use of both surface water and groundwater so that, to the fullest extent possible, the ground and surface water resources within the state shall be integrated in their use, storage, allocation and management. The Monitoring Branch of the Water Resources Division in the Office of Land and Water Resources (OLWR) at the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) characterizes both surface and groundwater resources to inform permitting decisions. There is a large amount of surface water available for use in northeast Mississippi, primarily the Tennessee Tombigbee Waterway, which is a man-made waterway comprised of river, canal, and divide sections that encompasses approximately 234 navigable miles between the Tombigbee River at Demopolis, Alabama and the Tennessee River at Pickwick Lake. Authorized by Congress in 1946 as a means of commercial navigation, construction was completed for the project in 1985. In addition to being used for commercial navigation, the Tennessee Tombigbee Waterway is used for recreation, fishing, a habitat for wildlife, and a source of water for several cities, towns, and industries.