Title: Water for the Future in Mississippi
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/WL00002939/00001
 Material Information
Title: Water for the Future in Mississippi
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publisher: Report to the 1956 Mississippi Legislature by the Mississippi Water Resources Policy Commission
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
Abstract: Richard Hamann's Collection - Water for the Future in Mississippi
General Note: Box 12, Folder 2 ( Water Resources Reports - Various States - 1955 - 1957 ), Item 10
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
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Bibliographic ID: WL00002939
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Holding Location: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text







reportt of the


Water Resources

Policy Commission



House Bill No. 7

AN ACT to declare the policy of the state in regard to water in the state; to provide for the preservation of existing rights
in the use of water; to provide for the appointment of a commission, to be known as the Mississippi Water Resources
Policy Commission, to conduct a study into the matter of implementation of the policy herein declared; to require the
commission to report its findings to the next session of the legislature.
WHEREAS, the use of water for municipal, industrial, agricultural, and all other beneficial purposes
is a matter of public interest and public welfare; and
WHEREAS, continued waste and misuse of ground water may create a critical problem; and
WHEREAS, the proper use and management of surface waters facilitate and make practicable the
conservation of ground water and land in many areas; and
WHEREAS, the conditions and needs within the State of Mississippi with reference to the availability
and use of water are such that the public welfare requires that water be put to the highest beneficial
use; and
WHEREAS, by encouraging sound adjustments in land and water use, and the right combination of
structural measures, including but not limited to dams, reservoirs, pumping plants, conduits, ponds, and
other structures to permit the proper development, wise use, conservation and protection of surface water,
as well as land, the public interest and welfare are served; and
WHEREAS, the control and development and use of water for all beneficial purposes should be cen-
tered in the state which, in the exercise of its police powers, should follow a course which will effectuate
full utilization and protection of the water resources of the state;
Now, Therefore, be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Mississippi:
Section 1. Nothing in the preamble shall impair or interfere with the continuance of any existing valid
rights to the use of waters, or to interfere with the customary use of water for domestic purposes.
Section 2. There is hereby created a commission of seven (7) members to be known as the Mississippi
Water Resources Policy Commission, which shall conduct a study into the matter of implementation by
the legislature of a water policy of the state as set forth in section 1. Members of the commission shall be
appointed by the governor as follows: one member from each congressional district and one member from
the state at large. The commission may engage an executive secretary and professional assistance, may au-
thorize travel expense and may engage such clerical help as it may find to be necessary or desirable; but
in no event shall it incur expenses in excess of an amount to be appropriated.
Section 3. The study provided for in section 2 shall be completed before the convening of the legisla-
ture in January 1956 and the commission shall report its findings and recommendations to the legis-
lature not later than ten (10) days after the convening of the 1956 session, after which time the commission
shall be automatically dissolved.
Section 4. Members of the commission shall receive a per diem of ten dollars ($10.00) and the travel
allowance to other persons engaged in the business of the state when engaged in the exercise of their duties
as members of the commission. All warrants drawn upon any appropriation shall bear the signature of the
chairman of the commission, which chairman shall b e elected by a majority vote of the commission.
Section 5. All acts or parts of acts inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed.
Section 6. This act shall take effect from and after its passage.
Approved September 28, 1954.



Page vi

Sam A. Thompson and James V. Craig should appear as members of Sub-
Committee "D" on Irrigation and Watershed.

B. J. Christiansen and George A. Morris should appear as members of Sub-
Committee "C" on Surface Water.

Water For The Future



A Report to the 1956 Mississippi Legislature
by the
As provided for by
Approved September 28, 1954

September, 1955

Jackson, Miss.



/ /

/ /
/ /
/ /



I I \

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NI 1 \
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It :4, :'-*'* *.I*.*..

'~ 'I .1' c~rounqGround Wa-JI'e r 7o Ot.~j'r





Water is a moving resource which can do harm or do good depend-
ing on how it is used and managed. It is also a renewable one in which
maximum benefits can be achieved over the years, if it is used wisely
and not wastefully. Water supplies are renewed through a revolving
or recurring process, often referred to as the hydrologic style.

Moisture is evaporated from the oceans. This atmospheric mois-
ture moves overland, where it may be precipitated as rain, snow, hail
or sleet.

A portion of this precipitation infiltrates into the soil and is used
by plants or held as soil moisture. Part is intercepted by foilage and
part enters the systems of animals. Some of the precipitation after
striking the soil moves over the surface of the earth until it reaches and
becomes a part of streams or lakes.

Some percolates through the soil and enters underground forma-
tions, where it is stored as groundwater. Shallower formations return
part of their water to the surface in the form of springs and seeps which
support the natural base flow of streams. When this return seepage
is limited, streams may dry up or contain only minimum flows.

The cycle is completed when moisture finds its way again to the
oceans or returns to the atmosphere by evaporation or transpiration
through plant leaves.

Mississippi, on an annual basis, has a considerable water supply,
greater than most areas of our country. But in recent years water
deficiencies have occurred with increasing regularity and intensity in
some areas of the State, during certain seasons, or for specific uses.
This seems especially true in the middle and upper portions of the State.

Competition for water is increasing rapidly, and as our economy
expands, it is likely to become quite common.

Before the situation becomes critical, we must intensify and broad-
en our efforts toward a more orderly program of water development,
conservation and wise use of this essential raw material. In a few short
years water has become a key factor and commodity in the growth of
our agriculture, industries, towns, cities, and recreation facilities. Every
means must be employed to balance supply and demand. This is the
prime objective of this study.

_ ~1 __


A number of man-made means can serve to help balance water supply and de-
mand, within the limits of nature's hydrologic cycle.
Sound land use and soil and water conservation practices can help, because
the soil body represents a vast reservoir with tremendous storage capacity.
Establishment of high-quality forests on lands unsuited to the production of
crops or pastures, use of pastures on lands unsuited to crops, or in rotation with
crops, and other practices which facilitate infiltration of water into the soil; growing
crops on better lands with necessary conservation practices, including sound meth-
ods of irrigation and drainage; and use of those soil and water conservation prac-
tices which help to channel more water through plants and animals for greater pro-
duction are especially helpful.
Watershed protection and improvement to increase water yield and improve
quality is an important means.
Important also is water storage in farm ponds, flood detention reservoirs and
recreational lakes, industrial and municipal reservoirs-to save surpluses for use
during periods of deficiencies. These deficiency periods are seasonal in occurrence
and effect.
Re-use of water to a practicable maximum by industries and municipalities and
for air conditioning can be an effective conservation measure.
Establishment and adherence to better water-use standards, especially for the
production of agricultural crops, is a necessary means.
Improvement and protection of water supplies through pollution abatement
can be very helpful.
Development of new sources of supply for areas where the natural supply is
deficient in certain seasons, including the tapping of underground supplies, and
transporting water from watersheds where surpluses exist to areas of greater need
is a sound development and conservation measure.
These are some of the ways and means whereby supply can be brought in
closer balance with demand.
But existing water laws do not facilitate all of these things. In some instances
our laws actually are a deterring influence in that they do not provide sufficient
legal protection for investments required in developing water resources, putting
more water to beneficial use, re-use of water, seasonal storage, diversion to lands not
touching streams and lakes, greater extent of use as the many competing uses ex-
pand, and a fair division of supplies in times of shortage.
The modernization of our water laws in Mississippi is still another way, and a
basic one, of helping bring supply in balance with demand. There is need to af-
ford a legal foundation for the physical and financial means of creating storage,
providing conveyance, conserving good quality supplies of all types, and for its
beneficial use.

Artificial Supply and Demand

Surface Wafer

f / ~ N)

---- __--11~-1.1..~--__ ---1- --__~-~-_--~-- --~-



JIMMY MORROW, Vice-Chairman
ART NELSON, Secretary L. J. FOLSE, Executive Secretary

ART NELSON, Chairman

I iF,

Soil Conservation Service,
Berkeley, Calif.

Soil Conservation Service,
Spartanburg, S. C.

W. G. SPENCE, Chairman
Pollution Dept., Miss. Game and Fish Com-
mission, Jackson, Miss.
State Chemist, State College, Miss.
U. S. Weather Bureau, Jackson, Miss.
Dean, University, Miss.
U. S. Forest Service, Jackson, Miss.


J. W. LANG, Chairman
U. S. Geological Survey, Jackson, Miss.

Dept. of Geology, State College, Miss.

Layne-Central Co., Jackson, Miss.

DR. W. C. MORSE, State Geologist
University, Miss.
R. R. PRIDDY, Dept. of Geology
Millsaps College, Jackson, Miss.

U. S. Geological Survey, Jackson, Miss.
U. S. Soil Conservation Service,
Jackson, Miss.
Farmer, Itta Bena, Miss.
Miss. Forestry Commission, Jackson, Miss.

T. B. FATHEREE, Chairman
U. S. Farmers Home Administration,
Jackson, Miss.
U. S. Soil Conservation Service,
Jackson, Miss.
U. S. Corps of Engineers, Mobile, Ala.
U. S. Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg, Miss.

I i


October 15, 1955

To the Governor of Mississippi, and to the 1956 State Legislature
In September, 1954, the Mississippi Legislature passed House Bill No. 7, an Act to declare
the policy of the state in regard to water; to provide for the appointment of the Mississippi
Water Resources Policy Commission to conduct a study into the matter of implementation of
the declared policy; and to require the Commission to report its findings and recommenda-
tions to the next session of the Legislature.
In keeping with that Act, we are transmitting herewith the report, "Water For The Future
In Mississippi", as prepared by the Commission and its staff.
The report is based on a study of water problems in the four major water-use fields-agri-
culture, industrial, municipal and recreational; and contains our findings, conclusions and rec-
As a part of its study into the implementation of the water policy of the state, the Com-
mission reviewed its tentative findings, conclusions and recommendations with water users in
fourteen meetings over the state. Suggestions were solicited from those attending the meetings
and their recommendations are being given careful consideration by the Commission in de-
veloping the final report.
This report contains basic information on water problems of the state and analyses of these
data, together with conclusions and broad recommendations. A second part, now in prepara-
tion, will give suggestions for strengthening and broadening the basic water policy declared by
the 1954 Legislature and for implementing the water policy.
Early in our history water was important to us as a means of transportation, for domestic
purposes, and for hunting and fishing. These uses were characteristic of a simple economy,
based largely on the agrarian agriculture of those times. The development of water law in
Mississippi has been determined in large measure by those uses and by the recurring problems
of floods and the need for drainage due to excess water.
In recent years, with an expanding and changing economy, our needs for and uses of
water as a resource have grown, broadened and become more complex. This calls for an en-
tirely new appraisal of our water situation, including both water laws and programs.
Water has a new significance today as a commodity. As property it has an increasing im-
portance in every transaction where development and use are dependent upon a satisfactory
water supply of good quality. This property aspect of water is both economic and governmen-
tal. The community or public interest in water is far greater today than it was when our water
use laws were developed by the courts.
The Commission respectfully requests full consideration of the findings, conclusions and
recommendations contained in this report and appropriate action leading to the conservation,
sound development and maximum beneficial use of Mississippi's vital water resources in the
interest of all the people.

Respectfully submitted,
SAM A. THOMPSON, Chairman.


A large number of state organizations, state and federal agencies, and persons, in many
and various ways, assisted the Commission with inventories of problems and with analyses
and interpretations of resulting data. This background material was of utmost value to the
Commission in discharging its responsibility for studying the \matter of implementation of the
water policy declared by the 1954 Legislature.
The Commission wishes to express its sincere thanks to all those whose efforts, in one
way or another, facilitated the preparation of this report. Without their splendid assistance, a
study and report of this nature and scope would not have been possible in the time available.
The excellent work of the Commission's fact-finding committee and its several sub-com-
mittees is gratefully acknowledged. Members of the sub-committees gave generously of their
time and efforts to provide needed data and assist with interpretations. Membership is given
on page vi.
Of particular value to the Commission was certain basic information made available to it
by the Mississippi Inter-Organizational Committee on Water Resources, a public service group,
dedicated to the development and utilization of the water resources of Mississippi. The Com-
mittee rendered, other valuable assistance, also. This Committee is composed of representa-
tives from the following organizations:

Mississippi Association of Soil Conservation District Commissioners

Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation
The Delta Council
Mississippi Economic Council
State Soil Conservation Committee
Mississippi Press Association
Mississippi Municipal Association
Mississippi Manufacturers Association
Mississippi Association of Supervisors
Mississippi Bankers Association
State Junior Chamber of Commerce
Mississippi Forestry Association
Mississippi Wildlife Federation

Industries and municipalities cooperated very effectively, as did county agricultural workers
councils, under the leadership of the State Agricultural Workers Coordinating Council, in an-
swering questionnaires concerning water use, water-use trends, and other pertinent problems.
Answers to those questionnaires are summarized in the Appendix.
The Commission also gratefully acknowledges the contributions of organization represen-
tatives, individuals and members of the Legislature who attended the series of fourteen meet-
ings over the state. Their contributions are being given every consideration in refining the
physical data and conclusions of the Commission, in preparing the legislative recommenda-
tions to be made in a supplemental report.






















Figure TITLE Page
























It has been world-wide experience that when natural resources are in abundance, they are wasted.
It is only when scarcity intervenes that men turn to conservation efforts.
In the early days of agriculture in this country, it was the custom to wear out one farm and move on
to another, because this was easier and cheaper than applying soil and water conservation practices to
the land. As long as virgin timber was abundant, it was easier and cheaper to cut out and move on to other
localities than it was to stay in one place and raise new crops of trees on the same land.
Mississippi has been blessed with an abundance of water resources; so much so in fact that most of
the time our people have been concerned with getting rid of excess water, rather than with conserving
water for use. As the population of Mississippi increased, however, it was only a question of time before
conservation methods would have to be developed concerning our water supplies just as they had been
developed for our soil and forest resources. The droughts of 1951, 1952, 1953, and 1954 demonstrated
that even in this humid area, local shortages can occur and resulting problems can become serious if all
possible steps are not taken to develop and conserve water resources.
A number of people throughout the state recognized as never before the need to employ every means
to develop, conserve and wisely use water. They found a common ground in the Mississippi Inter-Organ-
izational Committee on Water Resources, which was organized in 1953 under leadership of the Mississippi
Association of Soil Conservation District Commissioners, the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation, The
Delta Council, the Mississippi Economic Council and the State Soil Conservation Committee. This organ-
ization was made up of representatives of a number of state-wide organizations from the several water using
fields-agricultural, industrial, municipal and recreational.
The Inter-Organizational Committee developed a considerable amount of background information
which is contained in a report entitled: "The Beneficial Use of Water in Mississippi", published in De-
cember, 1953. This information was developed through studies of various problems connected with a
determination of need for, and ways and means of, affording a better legal foundation for the physical and
financial means of conserving good quality water supplies. This report was submitted to the Governor,
the Legislature and the people of Mississippi. It recommended that the Legislature declare the policy of
the State in regard to water in the State and create a Commission to conduct a study into the matter of
implementation by the Legislature of the declared water policy and made recommendations for the enact-
ment of water policy legislation.
On September 28, 1954, the Legislature created the Mississippi Water Resources Policy Commission
and authorized it to study the matter of implementation of the water policy of Mississippi and report its
findings and recommendations to the Legislature in January of 1956.
The following pages contain findings of the Mississippi Water Resources Policy Commission, together
with tentative recommendations for broadening the policy of the State and for implementation.
The study of Mississippi's water problems is far from complete. Because of the limitations of time
and funds, and the urgency of needs with regard to surface waters, the Commission has confined most
of its recommendations to surface water problems. Although a great deal of data has been gathered re-
garding ground-water resources, information on this score is still incomplete. Proposals for continuing
the study of Mississippi's water resources as a basis for additional needed legislation are contained herein.



Atmospheric And Soil Water
When the water resources of an area are being
described, the analysis often is confined to surface
and ground waters. This is only part of the story.
Water resources are the result of a revolving process.
Water is evaporated from the surface of the sea,
brought overland where it may be precipitated as
rain or snow. Thence, it runs off into streams or
ponds or percolates into underground formations.
Some portion is taken into the systems of plants and
animals. And the cycle is then completed with a re-
turn to the atmosphere by evaporation or transpira-
tion. Or, water may return to the sea through streams,
underground seeps or as precipitation.
So changeable is the weather of this area from
day-to-day, and so erratic has been the variation of
rainfall and temperature in the past few years, that
many get the impression there is no definite pattern
of climatic behavior on which we can rely. This is
certainly not the case. The rotation of the earth on
its axis, its inclination toward the sun and revolution
around the sun are basic factors controlling climate.
Other major "controls" are the distribution of the
continents and oceans, the behavior of winds and air
masses, altitude, barriers, centers of atmospheric pres-
sure, ocean currents and storms. A moment's reflec-
tion leads one to realize that most of these controls
are relatively fixed or have known behavior insofar
as man's time span is concerned.
The occurrence and nature of the air masses
which will ordinarily be experienced over various
surface areas of the state are known. Further, as sug-
gested earlier, the amount of atmospheric moisture
received here is closely related to the occurrence of
moist air masses originating over large water bodies.
Even for inland areas the greater share of atmospheric
moisture can be traced to oceanic origin. Of course,
local phenomena, such as the meeting of the warm
moist air with a cold air mass, or the rising of the air
locally, causing thunderstorms as in summer, may be
immediate causes for the rainfall, but adequate mois-
ture must be present in the atmosphere. By and large,
this moisture has been obtained from the ocean or
other large water bodies. Exceptions include the
modification of dry polar air after it has traveled long
distances over land surfaces, absorbing much mois-
The movement of air masses results on the av-
erage in considerably heavier annual precipitation in

Mississippi than in most of the States to the west, but
not so much as in certain eastern seaboard and other
southern States. Within the State, the average an-
nual precipitation is heaviest near the coast, reaching
its maximum of about 65 inches, while it is lightest in
the Delta section, averaging about 50 inches annual-
ly. (See Figure I.)
Thus far we have taken stock of the precipitation
deposited on the surface of the land. To complete
our analysis of atmospheric moisture we must deter-
mine how much of this water is actually available to
most needs. Large amounts are "lost" by evaporation
from the earth's surface and transpiration from plants.
This process, called evapotranspirationn", is not ex-
actly a loss, in that evaporation adds moisture to the
air and has other benefits, and transpiration is nec-
essary to the very life of plants. But the amount
evaporated and transpired is not usually available
to replenish surface and underground supplies in the
immediate locality where the "loss" takes place. Like-
wise, these vaporization processes draw down the
supply of water in the soil unless it is well covered.
Obviously, much more precipitation is required to
maintain soil moisture adequate to plant needs in a
region with heavy evaporation and transpiration than
in a region in which the vaporization of moisture by
the energy of the sun is relatively light.
When the potential evaporation is compared
with the precipitation and allowance is made for the
storage of water in the ground and its subsequent use,
periods of moisture deficiency and excess are deter-
mined and an understanding of the relative moist-
ness or aridity of a climate is obtained. Such com-
putations have been made for one place (Canton)
representative of about the average of conditions in
Mississippi. Water balances for Canton are shown in
Figure II. When the soil is full of water, the actual
evaporation (the water loss under normally varying
soil moisture conditions) and the potential evapora-
tion are the same and all precipitation in excess of
the water need is realized as water surplus. In the
summer, when precipitation does not equal potential
evaporation, the difference is made up in part from
soil moisture storage; but as the soil becomes drier,
the part not made up is larger. This is the water
deficit, the amount by which actual and potential
evaporation differ.
If one compares the moisture surplus and deficit
with the water need, it is possible to obtain an index

Normal Annual Distribution of Precipitation Based On the Period 1898-1932

Data 1932-1955 not completely analyzed but its
omission does not change basic information
shown on map. Map is representative of conditions
through 1955.



Water Balance At Selected Stations*


Water Surplus





,, -EH -

Water Deficit

S3.9 inches

Soil Water Utilization

7.3 inches

Soil Water Recharge

7.3 inches


J. F. M. A. M.

J. J. A. S. O.

From-MONTHLY REVIEW May, 1955. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


- ACTUAL EVAPORIZATION (coincides with potential in cold season)



Mississippi's water problem is seasonal. There is am-
ple rainfall during the winter and early spring months,
when the water needs of vegetation are low. Beginning in
May, plants need more water than is available from rain-
fall. This deficit continues to the end of the growing sea-
son, in October. Conservation measures are needed to store

as much surplus water as possible from the winter rainfall
for summer use. Under natural conditions, most of the
water that is stored is absorbed and held by the soil. The
unburned-ungrazed forest is one of the best means of get-
ting rainfall into the ground.







N. D.





of the relative moistness of a place. When surplus is
greater than deficit, the moisture index is positive and
the climate is humid or subhumid. When the deficit
is greater than the surplus, the moisture index is
negative and the climate is arid or semiarid.
Computation of the moisture index for Canton
shows that Mississippi experiences a humid climate.
However, because at Canton the relationship of pre-
cipitation to potential evaporation results in a sur-
plus in winter, but also a greater deficit in summer,
the moisture index reveals a somewhat less humid
climate there than in States to the north of Mississippi.
The plotting of values of the moisture index on a
map enables us to get a comparative picture of the
moisture situation in Mississippi relative to the rest
of the nation.
The index is zero in areas where precipitation is
just the same as potential evaporation. Thus at this
point the climate, taking the year as a whole, is
neither moist nor dry. Where there is a water sur-
plus relative to need, the ratio of this surplus to water
need constitutes a moisture index. Thus in the entire
state the moisture index is from 40 to 60, except one
small area in the Delta where it is from 20 to 40.
The State has a moisture surplus on an annual
basis. Deficiencies during part of the year are more
than compensated for by surpluses in other parts of
the year. This gives a positive annual moisture in-
dex. But these surpluses are not directly available
to the soil to correct deficiencies when most crops
need maximum moisture, the surplus water runs off
into streams or underground supplies.
During the period in which deficiencies occur,
soil moisture conservation and irrigation is needed,
if all the soil moisture that plants could use for max-
imum production of quality crops is to be provided.
Figure III shows estimates throughout the State
of the number of inches by which precipitation fails
to meet needs in deficiency periods, if all the usable
soil moisture is to be provided. To arrive at these
figures, evaporation (the amount of water actually
evaporated into the atmosphere) is compared to soil
moisture need (the amount that might have been
evaporated and transpired had the soil held a max-
imum water supply at all times of the year). The belt
across the State which includes the Canton area ap-
parently needs 3.9 more inches of water in the defi-
ciency period, June through September, if soil mois-
ture is to be maintained at full capacity throughout
the year.

The amount of moisture deficiency is an indica-
tion of the amount of supplemental irrigation needed,
but the map does not reflect unusual drought periods
or conditions. With that exception, the map shows in
terms of seasonal needs that the State has areas of
precipitation deficiency ranging up to 9 inches. Areas
of deficiency are generally in the northern part of
the State where the heavier evaporation demands
more than offset the relatively greater rainfall, es-
pecially in the Delta.
To sum up the situation regarding atmospheric
moisture in the district, we may say that there is a
two-fold problem; (1) moisture deficiency in time of
greatest need, and (2) moisture surplus when much
of the water is not being used. Is there a solution?
In addition to the vital need for more basic informa-
tion, two major steps suggest themselves. (1) We
should plan comprehensive and individual water bud-
gets on the basis of the information we have and re-
vise them as new facts are obtained. (2) We should
carry out practices designed to achieve better bal-
ance in the annual water budgets, both individually
and regionally, and to harmonize demand with sup-
ply in view of long-range climatic prospects.
Regarding the first suggestion (planning a water
budget) considerable help is available. The Weather
Bureau provides advance estimates of the hydrologic
balance for the coming year. The Bureau also co-
operates with agencies in the solution of special
problems such as the limits of maximum possible
rainfall and snow melt, or critical weather sequences.
In our State of net water surplus, a very important
part of the Weather Bureau activity is the forecast-
ing of floods. Such forecasts are estimated to have a
benefit-to-cost ratio of about thirty to one. Once de-
tention reservoirs have been built, the Bureau's re-
ports are essential to proper control of reservoir water
pools. Water from such reservoirs could be released
for beneficial use in times of water shortage.
Each farmer in the State should eventually be
able to plan his water budget on an annual basis and
on a daily basis during the important growing sea-
son. To a certain extent, of course, he is forced to
do this now by the very demands of nature. He plans
crops which take advantage of maximum moisture
during their growing period and ripen in the drier
season. Or he maintains flooded fields, as for the
rice crop, until harvest.
The second point, that of carrying out steps to
bring water potentials and demand into better bal-
ance, cannot be too greatly stressed. This represents

Average Annual Rainfall Deficiency In Mississippi


TA .,, RE......

SPL FAYETTE i Ii7E .n.ss 1

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the practical application of research and planning.
Conservation measures which help prevent exces-
sive runoff are particularly helpful. Maintenance of
forests on land unsuited to agriculture, and use of
winter cover crops, contour plowing, and strip crop-
ping, as needed on crop lands are examples of such

Supplementary irrigation offers considerable op-
portunity in helping reach a better water balance.
The idea of irrigation for general field crops is still
regarded by many as a practice mostly of concern to
farmers in the arid West. That was so at least until
the past few years of drought. But now, irrigation in
this State should not be thought of as just an emer-
gency measure. The State has considerable areas
that are normally deficient in water supply relative
to maximum needs. Today, the problem of irrigation
should be further studied in the light of new methods
of irrigation and lower costs. Costs of alternative
ways of increasing yields must always be taken into
consideration by the farmer, however, in planning a
water budget. Also, the physical limitations of irriga-
tion and the problems of available ground and sur-
face waters, must be taken into account. There are
those, however, who could and should use irrigation
as a sound farming practice.

What has been said above about planning a
water budget for farming practices applies in prin-
ciple to other water-using fields as well. Sound water
rights are an important feature of such plans.

Relationship of Vegetative Cover

As was pointed out above, Mississippi water
problems very largely center around "timing" of
rainfall. We have too much water in the winter,
when it is not needed; and we have too little during
the summer growing season when it is needed for
maximum yields of quality crops. At this same sea-
son other uses usually are at a maximum also-indus-
trial, municipal and recreational.

A basic problem, then, is to store as much rain
water as possible so that it will be available for use
during dry seasons. Excess water may be stored above
ground in reservoirs and ponds, or it may be stored

through natural and artificial means in the ground,
where it may be available when needed as well water,
spring water, or stream flow. Water which runs off
instead of soaking in is lost and cannot be recaptured.
Relatively small amounts can be stored behind dams
or pumped back artificially as recharge water; but
the greatest storage reservoir is the ground itself.
Vegetation plays a major part in holding water
where it falls, and in maintaining porous, spongy soil
structure, both of which are essential to maximum in-
soak or infiltration. Many soil and water conserva-
tion practices encourage insoak by maintaining vege-
tation on the land or plant residues in and on the soil.
More than 50% of Mississippi is covered with for-
est, and with the exception of certain Delta counties,
some forest land is found on almost every farm. Prop-
erly managed and protected from fire, a forest will
absorb and hold more rainfall than any other type
of land cover. Forest fires destroy the "sponge lay-
er" being built up on top of the soil by the trees, and
greatly decrease the ability of a forest soil to store
water. Much progress has been made in fire protec-
tion, but there are still 24 counties without organized
fire protection. Eleven times as much forest burns in
these unprotected counties as in the protected ones.
This is a tragic waste, not only of our timber resour-
ces, but of our water-storage facilities as well.
Our widespread forest resources offer one of the
best means of "holding water where it falls" and
channeling it into underground storage. It is im-
portant that forestry and other sound soil and water
conservation practices which facilitate high water-
insoak rates be practiced on areas of natural recharge
of our ground water supplies.
It would seem, then, that farmers and other land
owners should be encouraged by every means to
make full use of all needed types of conservation
assistance financial or physical whether this be
local, State or federal.
Another important point is that in larger forested
areas, rainfall amounts evidently are greater. And it
has been estimated that amounts in excess of 25% of
the total rainfall over such a forested area are trans-
pired back into the air streams from which precipita-
tion can again fall over nearby areas.



Diffused Surface Water
That portion of the rainfall which moves over
the surface of the land-before it reaches and becomes
a part of a well-defined watercourse-is called diffused
surface water. Diffuse surface water is important for
several reasons:
1. It is a resource which can be captured and
stored for a beneficial purpose-water for live-
stock, crop irrigation, recreation, etc.
2. Diffused surface water flowing uncontrolled
across cropland can cause sheet and gully erosion,
and this in turn results in pollution and sedimen-
tation of streams and reservoirs.
3. Diffused surface water, unmanaged or im-
properly managed, may collect in low places and
interfere with crop production, necessitating
drainage measures.
Not enough is known about the behavior of dif-
diffused surface water and the potential use and value
of this resource.
Defined Watercourses-Streams
The defined surface water resources of Mississip-
pi consist of rivers, streams, and lakes, together with
certain artificial reservoirs established at strategic lo-
cations. The rivers flow mainly into the Mississippi
or Gulf of Mexico, and they perform a primary func-
tion of drainage for excess rainfall. Among these
the principal ones are the Tombigbee, the Yazoo, the
Pascagoula, the Pearl, and the Big Black Rivers.
There is only a limited supply of stream waters of
concern to neighboring states, other than the Missis-
sippi River, and possibly the Tombigbee and the
The largest of the State's river basins is the Yazoo,
(See Figure IV) draining about 14,000 square miles,
including practically the entire Alluvial Plain and
much of Northern Mississippi. The basin is divided
alomst into two parts, the extensive flat lowlands in
the Alluvial Plain and the upland hill country. The
Alluvial Plain, referred to generally as the Delta, is
a part of the flood plain of the Mississippi River, and,
as such, has been benefitted by the deposits of rich
silt from Mississippi River overflow, making this area
one of the most fertile agricultural areas in the world.
It extends from Vicksburg on the South to Memphis,
Tennessee on the north. The hill country lying im-
mediately to the east of the Delta has a gently rolling
topography, terminated by a bluff line at the eastern
edge of the Delta. The upland area has undergone

serious erosion so that parts of it are unfit for agri-
culture. The principal tributaries of the Yazoo River
are the Coldwater, Yocona, Tallahatchie, and Yalo-
busha Rivers, all rising in the uplands and the Sun-
flower River lying wholly within the Delta.

The principal interest in surface water in the
Yazoo River Basin has been in the alleviation of floods
and m drainage. Without extensive flood protection
works and without an adequate system of drainage
ditches supplementing the natural drainage system,
much of the Delta would be badly flooded annually
by the Mississippi and Yazoo Rivers. Increasing use
of irrigation and increasing industrial activity in the
area have recently stimulated another major use of
surface waters. Surface water also plays an important
role in the recreational life of the area and in sewage
disposal. However, the principal concern is now, and
probably will continue to be, drainage and flood pro-
The Tombigbee River Basin in northeast Missis-
sippi drains about 6,000 square miles. It is formed by
the confluence of the East and West Forks 20 miles
north of Aberdeen. Its principal tributaries are Bull
Mountain Creek, Luxapalila Creek, and Buttahatchie
River on the East, and Tibbee and Noxubee Rivers
on the West. Flood protection, disposal of municipal
sewage and industrial wastes, recreation, and some
irrigation provide the principal surface water uses in
the area.
The Pascagoula River, draining 8,900 square
miles in Southeast Mississippi, is formed by the con-
fluence of the Chickasawhay and Leaf Rivers just
north of Merrill. Principal tributaries include the
Bowie and Tallahala Creeks (tributary to the Leaf),
and the Chunky, Oktibbee, and Bucatunna Creeks
(tributary to the Chickasawhay). Escatawpa River,
whose drainage area lies largely in Alabama, is the
principal tributary to the Pascagoula. Industry pro-
vides the major use of surface water in this basin and
large industries are located in Meridian, Laurel, Hat-
tiesburg, and Moss Point, having waste disposal prob-
lems. Also, there is considerable use made of surface
water for recreation and disposal of sewage.
The Pearl River, rising in central Mississippi and
flowing through the middle of the southern parts of
the State. drains about 7,600 square miles. Its tributa-
ries are small, the more important being the Yockan-
ookany and Strong Rivers, and Bogue Chitto. Dis-
posal of industrial waste and sewage is the principal
surface water use.

Mississippi Watersheds

j L bw nourle




Smaller basins in the State include Big Black
River, draining 3,500 square miles between the Yazoo
and Pearl River Basins; the Homochitto River, and
Buffalo Bayou Basins in southwest Mississippi; the
Amite and Tangipahoa River Basins in the southern
part of the State, and the small coastal streams, Wolf,
Jourdan, and Biloxi Rivers; and the Tennessee, Wolf
and Hatchie River Basins in the extreme north. These
minor streams drain less than 25 percent of the total
area of the State but are nonetheless of economic im-
portance. For instance, the Tennessee River in the
north is developed for electric power generation and
furnishes considerable electric power in north Mis-
sissippi. The Coastal streams are of economic import-
ance because of future municipal water-supply and
irrigation developments.
The survey conducted by questionnaires shows
that there are a considerable number of small inter-
mittent streams in the State, dry much of the year.
But the vast majority of these seems to be lives ones.
These small streams are of great concern to farmers
and some towns because they furnish water for do-
mestic use, live stock, irrigation and municipal pur-
poses. Some of these streams are subject to consider-
able variations as to minimum and maximum flow.

Stream Reservoirs:
r The principal reservoirs in the State are those on
r the upper tributaries of the Yazoo River, Arkabutla
reservoir on Coldwater River, Sardis reservoir on Tal-
lahatchie River, Enid reservoir on Yocona River, and
Grenada reservoir on Yalobusha River. These reser-
voirs, although their principal purpose is flood con-
trol for the Alluvial Plain, furnish some of the finest
recreational opportunities in the South. Pickwick lake
on the Tennessee River in the extreme northeast of
the State, though primarily an electric power and
flood-control development, furnishes exceptional rec-
reational opportunities.
Smaller reservoirs, used for recreational oppor-
tunities are scattered throughout the State. Bogue
Homo Lake in Jones County, Lake Tangipahoa in
Pike County, and Choctaw Lake in Winston County
are among the more popular.

Natural Lakes :
Natural lakes are located for the most part in old
meander belts adjacent to the Mississippi River. Lake
Beulah, Lake Bolivar, Lake Washington, and Eagle
Lake are among the bigger of these lakes. Until re-
cent years, these lakes have been of economic im-
portance mainly for recreational and commercial fish-
ing purposes. During the past few years the entire
supplies of Lake Beulah and Bolivar have been used

for irrigation. There has also been some irrigation
development in Lake Washington.
Variations In Stream Flow and Lake Levels:
The answer to the question of "how much sur-
face water" does not lie in the daily average discharge
figures for our streams. Such figures are extremely
misleading. For instance, the Pearl River at Jackson,
whose average flow is 2,460 millions of gallons daily,
would adequately provide for a steel mill whose daily
capacity is in excess of 35,000 tons. The average flow
would take care of the municipal needs of a city of
12,000,000 people. Yet the city of Jackson, a city of
something over 100,000 people, is concerned about its
future supply.
The real answer to the question lies in minimum
flow. In the case of the Pearl River this minimum
flow is 49 million gallons daily, a ratio of 50 to one
between the average and minimum flow. Tabulated
below are maximum, average, and minimum flows for
several of Mississippi's rivers. The reader can see at
a glance that our expanding population, industry and
agriculture require more dependable water supplies
than those afforded by minimum flow. We cannot
judge the adequacy of our surface water supplies in
terms of average stream flow. The maximum flows
are indicative of damage problems; but here is a
source of supply, if it can be captured and used.

Stream and

Max. flow in
millions of
gallons daily

Av. flow in
millions of
gallons daily

Min. flow in
millions of
gallons daily

Tombigbee River 95,610 3980 103
at Columbus
Chunky Creek 19,800 312 1.0
at Chunky
Chickasawhay River 25,600 2,520 136
at Leakesville
Pascagoula River 99,500 6,350 450
at Merrill
Leaf River 46,100 1,740 225
at Hattiesburg
Tallahatchie River 34,440 519 2.6
at Etta
Pearl River 38,760 2,460 49
at Jackson
Strong River 15,100 371 8.4
at D'Lo
Homochitto River 20,000 165 16.8
at Eddiceton
Sunflower River 4,980 655 53.6
at Sunflower
Yazoo River 47,050* 6,240 346
at Greenwood
* 1932 observed flow; repeated with Yazoo Headwater Plan
in operation-27,150 million gallons per day.

~^"~~~~11-~--1~ ----`--~-~`~I~` "~'~` ~~"~- -~---~--------- ----I~" ~-----~

The distribution of stream flow throughout the
year is related to the rainfall pattern. The months
of highest stream flow are the winter and spring
months and those of the lowest stream flow are the
late summer and autumn months. This variation in
monthly runoff is illustrated in Figure V, which
shows average monthly runoff from four of our rivers,
Tallahatchie, Strong, Chickasawhay, and Homochitto
Rivers. A comparison with the illustration showing
average monthly rainfall will reveal the close rela-
tions between rainfall and runoff.
However, rainfall is not the only factor influencing
surface runoff. Such influences as soil, geology, shape
of basin, topography, and land use, are a few of the
other factors which have great influence on the run-
off from place to place.
There are also great differences in stream flow
from year to year. In comparing the average annual
yield for two of Mississippi's principal streams, Pearl
River, at Jackson, and the Tombigbee at Columbus,
it will be noted that during the high year of 1950, the
Tombigbee carried about ten times as much water
as during the low year of 1904. The relation between
the high and low years on the Pearl River is a little
over six to one.

Even though Mississippi is blessed with a high
average annual rainfall, and stream flow yield, dam-
aging droughts are frequent. In Mississippi, a drought
may be said to exist when lack of precipitation dur-
ing the growing season causes an unseasonal defolia-
tion or dessication of natural foliage or prevents
crops from maturing. Droughts may also occur dur-
ing the non-growing or winter seasons, since lack of
rain during that season will prevent a normal re-
plenishment of ground water supplies. Although lack
of rain is a prime cause of drought, it is difficult,
because of the many factors involved, to set an exact
limit on annual or seasonal rainfall above which a
drought does not exist or below which a drought may

A measure of the seriousness of a drought and
need for seasonal water storage, can be determined
by a study of the departure of stream flow from the
normal runoff during the period of record. Stream
flow not only reflects rainfall during the period of
high. rainfall but also during the normally low rain-
fall months of later summer and early fall. Condition
of the groundwater supply is reflected, because the
source of stream flow during these low rainfall
months is groundwater inflow.

Annual runoff figures for Tombigbee River, at Co-
lumbus, and Pearl River at Jackson, indicate several
years of below normal runoff, with the most serious
deficiencies occurring in 1904, 1910, 1934, 1942, 1943,
1952 and 1954. Probably the most serious period of
drought, both from a point of view of duration and
magnitude, was that of 1903-05. The drought started
in April, 1903, and lasted through January, 1905.
Surface runoff in northeast Mississippi was above
normal during only two of those months, May and
June, 1903.
In central Mississippi, surface runoff was also
above normal during only two months of that period,
August, 1903, and August, 1904. The most severe
drought occurred during the winter months, followed
by almost normal conditions during the growing sea-
During the growing seasons of 1952 and 1954,
severe drought prevailed over most of the State for
the entire growing season, April through September.
Every month of the growing season for 1952 was be-
low normal, and five of the six months during 1954.
Stream flow and rainfall data do not necessarily
define real drought conditions. It is possible that
above normal stream flow or rainfall for a month
may have been caused by one storm and this may
have produced the entire rain or runoff for the month.
In such event, the fact that the month was normal
as a whole would obscure the prevailing drought con-
ditions after the effects of the rain had passed.
The relation between rainfall and surface runoff
is not constant, varying from basin to basin, and even
varying within the basin from storm to storm and
from year to year. Magnitude and intensity of the
storms, nature of the soil, and degree of soil moisture,
and presence of reservoirs in the drainage basins are
a few of the many factors affecting the rainfall-sur-
face runoff relationship.
In the case of the West Fork of the Tombigbee
River about 25 percent of the rainfall appears as
stream flow during years of low rainfall. This per-
centage increases to about 45 percent during high-
rainfall years. Also the percentage of rainfall that ap-
pears as stream flow is greater for the West Fork of
the Tombigbee River than for the Tuscalameta Creek,
indicating the effect of differing basin characteristics.
Reservoir Improvements And Their Relation To
Stream Flow And Water Use:
Large reservoir improvements in Mississippi have
been limited to flood control purposes. The four large

Variation In Monthly Discharge-Mississippi Streams

eo '_.o.> C= oo OS 0 O LU 50000
Tallahatchie River
D.A.-526 sq.mi.


c aa 1 > .
o0 0 .O0 o 3=
Strong River
D.A.- 429 sq.mi.

c .o > >, =.-> o t; *C 0 > .'>; "
oo 5 0> = o o o o o o oL. .
SU 3<2@ 0 OOZQ 0 2
Chickasowhay River Homochitto River

D.A.- 913 sq.mi. D.A.- 180 sq. mi.

Run-off depth in inches represents the depth to which the total run-off for the month
would have flooded the entire drainage area (watershed) if that flow were returned and
uniformly distributed over the entire drainage aerae.


_ _1__1 __ ___~_1_1 ~__ __ 1 __ ___~_~_ ________ __ I __I ___

reservoirs on Coldwater River, Tallahatchie River,
Yalobusha River, and Yocona River seek to control
flood discharge in the headquarters of the Yazoo and
afford protection to valuable lands in the Alluvial
Plain. These reservoirs reduce peak discharge along
the Yazoo River itself by about 40 percent. Outflows
are limited to a minimum during the normal flood
season, December through May, and are regulated
to empty the flood control storage during the normal
low-water season, June through September.
Secondary benefits for water supply are also ob-
tained from waters released during the low-flow sea-
son. It is estimated that the average low flow of these
streams is increased by 50 percent. The effect of re-
servoir operation is reflected in Figure VI, which
shows for a low year, 1952, and a high year, 1948, the
inflow and outflow from Sardis Reservoir. The in-
flow is actually the normal unregulated flow of Talla-
hatchie River. The value of the reservoir in increas-
ing the low water flow can be noted from Figure VI.
Another secondary benefit is the recreation op-
portunity provided for fishing, boating, and swim-
ming. Over one-half million people, many from out-
side the State, visited Sardis Reservoir in 1954. At
conservation pool stage, nearly 50 square miles of
fishing area is created. Pertinent data for the four
reservoirs is tabulated below:

Conservation Pool


in feet
above m.
s. 1

Area in


in feet
above m.
s. 1

area in

Near the northeast boundary of the State lies
Pickwick Reservoir on the Tennessee River. It pro-
vides capacity for both power and flood control.
No records are available for lake levels at this
writing. But it should be noted that there have been
substantial changes in levels in certain cases due to
consumptive uses for irrigation.

Ground Water:
Underground water is that water lying beneath
the land surface. Like surface water, underground
water flows according to the rules of gravity from
high places to low places. However, ground water
must flow slowly through the rocks-slowly because
of the friction between the water particles and the

sides of the small pores or cracks in the rocks.
Ground water may be discharged naturally into a
river through a spring, or simply by slow seepage
that may be unnoticed. It may be brought to the
surface by way of deep or shallow wells. Or it may
move underground until it reaches and becomes part
of Gulf water. Probably the largest part of the total
ground-water discharge in Mississippi is into
streams, however.
Underground reservoirs or aquifers of Missis-
sippi are its rock formations, but the tightest rocks-
clay, soft shale, or dense unfractured hard rocks-
will yield a little water where conditions will permit
water to enter and move through the rocks. Other
rocks and sand or gravel beds, under proper condi-
tions, hold and store tremendous quantities of water.
Extreme variations are present in nature to control
the capacities of different rocks to hold and to yield
The total storage capacity of the Mississippi
underground reservoirs is enormous, many times
greater than the capacity of all the streams, lakes,
and surface reservoirs. Of the enormous volume of
ground-water stored in Mississippi, however, only a
small percentage can be economically used. Much
of it occurs at too great a depth, or is in formations
in which wells would have such small yields as to
be impracticable for all except domestic uses.
An excellent example of an area where under-
ground water storage is now very great, and where a
large percentage is available for use is the Yazoo
Delta (commonly called the Delta). In this area it
is estimated that the amount of ground water in
storage is over 20 million acre feet. The storage in
an underground reservoir is limited by the geology,
and therefore, in order to determine the amount of
ground water available, it is necessary to know some
of the details of the geologic conditions. Numerous
problems are connected with the use of storing wat-
er, some of which involve surface-water users as
well as ground-water users.

Discharge and Recharge:
Underground-water reservoirs are similar in
many respects to surface-water reservoirs that re-
ceive inflow at variable rates and maintain discharge
at variable rates through tle outlet works. Slow
movement of water takes place through both types
of reservoirs. Water levels rise in both types of re-
servoirs when the rate of inflow (or in the case of
ground-water reservoirs recharge) exceeds the dis-
charge. Water levels fall when the rate of discharge


Sardis Reservoir Maintaining Low Water Flow of Tallahatchie River, 1948, 1952

Thousands of Acre-Feef





_ .____ I___~ __ ___ I~__ __ _

exceeds the rate of inflow. If water is pumped out of
either the surface or ground-water reservoirs, it may
reduce either the storage or the rate of discharge at
the lower end of the reservoir. Therefore, the rate of
inflow or recharge determines the degree of utiliza-
tion on a perennial basis.
Recharge of underground water formations is
the water that is added to the formations by infiltra-
tion from precipitation and from streams. An in-
crease in withdrawal of water from wells usually is
accomplished partly at the expense of natural dis-
charges and partly at the expense of storage in the
In 1954, it is estimated that the withdrawal of
water from all wells in the Delta area totaled about
500,000 acre feet. It is not known how much of this
water came from storage, nor how much was inter-
cepted, which otherwise would have been discharg-
ed by natural means.

Interference of Wells:
When water is pumped from a well, or an arte-
sian well is allowed to flow, the water level is
drawn down, not only in the well itself, but also in
an area extending out some distance from it. If
another well in the same formation is located within
the circle of influence of the first well, discharge
from either well will lower the water level in the
other. When both are being pumped or allowed to
flow, the discharge from each is likely to be less
than could be obtained if one was not being used.
The problem of declining water levels requires
not only the recording of the declines but especially
the analysis of the reasons for the declines. A fall-
ing water table, for example, may be evidence of
ground-water mining, which in general should be
avoided. On the other hand, a declining water table
can be the result of drawing down the storage dur-
ing drought. If the average use does not exceed the
safe yield, the draft upon storage is therefore not an
indication of bad management.
Artificial recharge is a very important means of
augmenting the use of certain ground-water reser-
voirs. This method of adding to the underground-
water supply has been successfully accomplished in
several places in the United States by spreading sur-
plus surface waters in ditches or small basins or by
pouring water down wells. An example of the use
of recharge wells is in the Stuttgart, Arkansas area.
Here experiments are now under way with artificial

methods by building up the water levels in the
more critical localities, where excessive pumping has
caused a large water-level decline.
Water-Bearing Formations In Mississippi:
Mississippi, with the exception of a very small
area in the northeastern corner, lies entirely within
the Gulf Coastal Plain, and is underlain by a series
of sedimentary deposits. The foundation of the
State consists of dense rocks like granite, known as
"basement rocks". These rocks do not come to the
surface in Mississippi, but are found in the heart of
the Piedmont Plateau which extends through eastern
Tennessee and into the Birmingham, Alabama area.
In Mississippi the basement rocks are buried deeply
beneath a covering of stratified rocks, ranging in
thickness from several hundred feet to many thou-
sand feet. These stratified rocks are consolidated
sedimentary formations like limestone, sandstone,
and shale, and unconsolidated sediments such as
gravel, sand and clay. The northern half of Missis-
sippi occupies a portion of a large structural trough
known as the Mississippi Valley Embayment. This
embayment extends up the Mississippi River as far
as southern Illinois, and the series of deposits filling
it form one of the most important ground-water re-
gions in the United States.
The occurrence of water in the rock formations
depends not only on their character, but also on their
position with respect to the land surface and struc-
ture (the way they dip or are faulted), the way in
which they alternate with known water-bearing
rocks, and the extent to which they are exposed to
recharge and the extent to which water is available
for recharge. The accompanying map, Figure VII,
shows the surface outdrops of the most important
water-bearing formations in Mississippi; and the geo-
logic cross sections, Figure VIII, show the position
and subsurface dip of the formations in different
parts of the State. Beginning in the northeastern
part of the State and travelling in a westerly or
southwesterly direction, one crosses succeedingly
younger formations as the older beds dip beneath
the land surface. The best underground-water re-
servoirs are found in the sands and gravels of the
Tuscaloosa and Eutaw formations, sands of the Wil-
cox formation (including the Meridian sand), the
Sparta sand, the Cockfield sand, the alluvial sands
and gravels of the Delta, and the belts of sands and
gravels of the Coastal Plain of the southern one-
fourth of the State.


Uses of Underground Water:
Approximately 98 percent of the public water
supplies in Mississippi are from wells. More than 85
percent of the water used for municipal and indus-
trial supplies and for irrigation is derived from wells.
Why is this? Because underground water is wide-
spread in occurrence. In general it costs less to
develop and treat the surface water. For air-condi-
tioning and other industrial uses it has an almost
constant temperature and uniform quality and is
free from silt.
The number of wells in operation for irrigation
in the Mississippi Alluvial Plain (Yazoo Delta) in-
creased from 25 to 350 between 1949 and 1954. The
volume of water pumped for irrigation almost
doubled each year during the period. See Figure
IX. In 1954 (a drought year) the total pumpage of
ground water from the shallow non-artesian aquifer
in the Delta was about 334,000 acre feet or at the
S rate of nearly 1,210 million gallons a day during the
growing season of rice. By early 1955, the total
number of irrigation wells for all crops had risen to
about 500, and they were being put in at the rate
of approximately 70 per month. Many of these wells
are for supplemental irrigation of various row crops
or for pasture lands.

Declining Water Levels:
Water levels in some of the State's most pro-
ductive water-bearing formations are falling, be-
cause the rate of withdrawal is in excess of natural
replenishment. Prolonged drought is aggravating
this situation by causing regional downward trends.
Pumps have had to be installed on formerly flowing
wells, or lowered in other wells, and wells have had
to be reconditioned.
Declining water levels do not necessarily indi-
cate that there is immediate danger of shortage.
However, the short-sighted person looks only at the
present and fails to see the value of planning for the
future when more and more water will be needed
for our ever-expanding economy. On the other
hand, natural recharge exceeds withdrawal in some
places, and very large reserves of underground water
remain unutilized. But abundant quantities of und-
erground water do not exist in all parts of the State.

Waste of Ground Water:
Large amounts of artesian water are wasted in
Mississippi by allowing wells to flow uncontrolled.
Down through the years since the discovery of the

artesian waters, thousands of flowing wells have
been drilled. Many were abandoned for various rea-
sons, flowing wastefully and contributing to falling
water levels. No accurate count is available; but it
is estimated by the U. S. Geological Survey that at
present many hundreds of such wells in the north-
eastern part of the State, near the coast, in the Delta,
and along major stream valleys have been abandon-
ed, or are being used very little, for water supply.
Water Quality:
There is a great need for ground- and surface-
water information on water quality in Mississippi.
Some of the first questions raised by a location
engineer for certain large industrial plants are:
What is the quality of the water? How cold is it?
What is its range in temperature?
Underground water in the Coastal area is par-
ticularly subject to changes in chemical content. In
the permeable sands near the coast, confined (arte-
sian) aquifers extend beneath the Gulf bed, and fresh
water extends several miles off shore. Over pump-
ing locally has resulted in sufficient lowering of
head, and invasion of sea water has caused increase
in salt content in some wells. This is a problem that
needs detailed study.

Ground-water supply and pumping in the delta:
In view of the extensive development and use
of ground water for rice irrigation, close attention
must be given to the supply and demand situation
in each locality. At first, most of the rice develop-
ment was along the streams where the surface water
was most readily available. Soon it became appar-
ent that there was a definite limit to this water, and
attention was turned more and more to ground-
water supplies to supplement stream waters. As the
rice growers began to realize that there was a very
large ground-water- supply directly beneath their
lands, wells were installed at sites chosen by the
grower whether these sites were near a stream or
many miles from one. Thus, today we have a wide-
spread development of wells for rice irrigation, as
well as for other crops.
The phenomenal increase in the use of ground
water for agriculture, industry, and public supplies
in the past few years has been an important factor
in accelerating the field inventory and appraisal of
the ground-water supplies in Mississippi. Such an
appraisal, under way at the present time as part of
a Statewide study of the ground-water resources, was
begun in September, 1953. It is being made by the

__ ____

Important Aquifers in Mississippi


Colors show areas where most important water-bearing
formations are at surface Formations are described on
opposite page with cross sections and identified by color
blocks below. Circles denote locations of sgnmficant
water supphes Letters inside circles represent names
of formations supplying the water.

Clay, sand and gravel

Less and brown oam. Not a water-bearing formation,
hut of consequence in forming a cover 10 to 50 feet
thick over large areas of sands of Sparta, Cockfield,
Catahoula, Pascagoula and Hattiesburg formations

Pascagoula and Hattiesburg clays.
Contains thick beds of sand mterbedded in clays.

Catahoula sandstone

Cockfield formation
Beds of sand mterhedded with hgnitlc clay and lignte

Sparta sand.

Wilcox group.
Beds of fine to coarse sand iterhedded with clay. In-
cludes Mendan sand.

F-1 -
Ripley formation
Sand, sandstone, sandy chalk and clay.

Eutaw formation
Fme to medium crossbedded sand with clay beds.

M 0
Tuscaloosa formation.
Irregularly bedded clay, sand and gravel.



Generalized Gec




B-B' Generalized Geologic Section from It(


4 z

_> _:
50 wcL 311 En
- g I Di
IIS CD---^ ^

A-A' Generalized Geologic Section from Northern Lowndes County to Greenville, Miss

Formations in color contain most abundant sources of underground water.
Vertical lines are representative supply wells.


lized Geologic Cross Sections


from Itawamba County to Gulf of Mexico

Cross section lines are shown on map, opposite page.
Black vertical lines beneath towns indicate wells and
formations that supply the water.

Loam, sand, gravel and clay. Thickness averages 140
'feet in Delta. Yields abundant supplies of hard water of
moderate mineral content. Furnishes hundreds of irriga-
tion wells and many domestic, industrial and public supplies
in Delta.

Green and bluish-green clay, sandy clay and sand.
Thick beds of siltsone and sand contain large artesian
water supplies in parts of Coastal Plain. Source of water
for many municipal and industrial plants and domestic
supplies. Downdip in Harrison and Jackson Counties water
becomes brackish; deeper beds contain salt water along
coast. Salt-water problems aggravated by waste and local

Sand, sandstone, clay, and gravel in irregular beds.
Yields large water supplies at Hattiesburg and Laurel.
Possibilities good for development of other large supplies
from this formation in a belt two counties wide between
Hattiesburg and Natchez.

Irregularly bedded lignitic clay, lignite and sand.
Thickness ranges from 220 to 250 feet in Jackson area;
probably thickens northwest, west and southwest of Jack-
son. Substantial water supplies are derived from the forma-
tion for industry, public and domestic uses in Hinds, Rankin
and Yazoo Counties and for public supply of Greenville.

Fine to coarse sand interbedded with clay. Coarse
sand layers transmit water readily. Thickness ranges from
100 feet in Carroll County to 400 feet in northwest part of
State, becoming thicker in some places downdip. Yields
important public, industrial and domestic supplies of soft
water of moderate mineral content throughout central and
western Mississippi. Considerable waste in Jackson area.

WILCOX GROUP (including Meridian sand)
Very irregularly bedded fine to coarse sand, clay and
some lignite. Beds of sand usually not persistent over large
areas. Meridian sand, however, abundantly water bearing
with soft water of moderately low mineral content. Source
of water for many towns and private supplies in central
and northern parts of State. General conditions seem fav-
orable for development of future large supplies in some
places; detailed data are badly needed.

Compact to loose sand, sandstone, sandy chalk and
clay. Southeast of Oktibbeha County sands become very
fine and change to chalk. Northward sandy beds yield sub-
stantial quantities of hard and soft waters and are source
of supply for several towns and farms.

Fine to medium crossbedded sand with clay beds.
Yields moderate to abundant supplies of water of variable
chemical quality. Source of water for many towns and
farms and some industry in northeast Mississippi.

Irregularly bedded sand, clay and gravel, with cherty
gravel in lower part. Abundantly water bearing. Yields soft
water of low mineral content for domestic, public and in-
dustrial supplies from Noxubee County northward up the
Tombigbee River basin to Alcorn County. Much waste in
areas of artesian flow. Developed for public supply as far
west as Calhoun City.

0 0
-800 *

-1200 "

Estimated Pumpage From Alluvium for Irrigation in Delta by Years


Before 1940 1940-1948


1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954

Source: U. S. Geological Survey, Water Resources Div.



U. S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the Mis- -
sissippi State Geological Survey. The purpose of
the study is to determine the quantity of ground-
water available for use in the various geologic form-
ations. The work involves a long and tedious task of
field contacts and inspections in order to obtain the
pertinent basic data. In the Delta, for example, sev-
eral months had to be spent in assembling data in
order that reports could be made for use as guides
for development of the ground-water conservation

Information has been collected for about 810
wells, 450 of which are irrigation wells drawing
water from the shallow alluvium. Automatic water-
level recorders are in operation on 8 carefully se-
lected observation wells, to determine the water-
level changes. These records form a part of the in-
formation being used to map and interpret the char-
acter of the large under-ground reservoir in the allu-
vium. The alluvium ranges in thickness from only
a few feet near the hills to about 160 feet and aver-
ages 140 feet. A properly constructed well in this
aquifer will readily yield about 2,000 gallons per
minute; some wells yield 3,500 gallons per minute
or more.

Of the total number of irrigation wells, about
300 were used to irrigate rice in 1954 and the re-
mainder to irrigate pastures and various row crops.
In Bolivar County alone, records had been collected
as of April, 1955, for 233 irrigation wells, of which
142 were in operation in 1954. About 100 were
drilled during the 3-year period prior to 1954.

The total pumpage of ground water from the
alluvium for irrigation in the entire Delta in 1954
has been estimated as 334,000 acre feet-one acre
foot equals 325,851 gallons. The rate of use during
the period of pumping, lasting between 90 and 105
days, amounted to an average of about 840,000 gal-
lons per minute. This compares with an average dis-
charge of about 135,000,000 gallons per minute in
the Mississippi River at Vicksburg during the same
period. In Bolivar County, which is the center of
the large rice-irrigation district, the total rate of
pumping amounted to approximately 300,000 gal-
lons per minute during the irrigation season. In ad-
dition to irrigation, a large volume of water in the
aggregate was pumped for domestic, stock, munici-
pal and industrial uses in the Delta.

With this great utilization of ground water, the
question may be asked, what is happening to the
water table? The decline of ground-water levels dur-

ing dry seasons, and particularly the decline in places
where relatively large quantities of water are pump-
ed from wells, are probably the chief reasons for the
widespread but erroneous belief that the water table
throughout the entire Delta is persistently falling and
that the ground-water supplies will eventually be
exhausted: What are the limits of safe pumping in
my neighborhood? How closely can the wells be
spaced? These questions of economics at present
may give rise to future legal problems if expansion
continues at the recent rate.

In discussing the long-range trends of ground-
water levels, it is of utmost importance to know the
major causes of water table fluctuations. These in-
clude: precipitation which affects recharge, result-
ing in a rise in or fall of water levels; pumping a
well or allowing an artesian well to flow; evaporation
and transpiration; and how lack of rainfall and ex-
cessive use may lead to a lowering of the water
levels. Illustrations of the rise and/or fall of the
water table in parts of the Delta due to some of
these causes are shown in Figures X and XI.

Figure X shows the water-level fluctuations in
unused well S4, drilled 105 feet deep for an irriga-
tion supply 2.4 miles east of Lake Washington, and
precipitation records at Lake Washington, begun in
December, 1954. Greenville is a long-established
weather station. The observation well is equipped
with an automatic water-level recorder. Note the
close relationship between heavy rains that fell in
the first half of May and the two foot or more rise
of the water level. The small upward steps in the
water level following September also correlate close-
ly with rains causing recharge after the end of the
irrigation season.
During the irrigation season the water level de-
clined and recovered sharply in response to the
pumping pattern of 3 wells. (See Figure X). An ir-
rigation well about 1500 feet from S4 was pumped
from May 6 to 11 and caused a water-level decline
of more than 3 feet in S4. From May 17 to early
June this well was on and off several times, causing
declines during pumping, followed by rises when
the pump was idle, as shown by the graph. Pump-
age from this well, together with that from another
about 8,000 feet away, caused the general decline in
water level shown by the graph from June 3 to mid-
July. The sharp peaks were caused by cessation of
pumping by one or both wells for several hours or
days and represent a slow recovery of the water
table during these periods. Beginning in mid-July
all three irrigation wells were in operation simul-

____._ __ __ ____

Underground Water Levels

Source: U. S. Geological Survey, Water Resources Div.

tfss toss

0 ^ --- ----- -_- ---- -L -- ----- ------ ---- ---- _,-- ---- ^ -- --- --------

We/ll S4, Waswhingon Covntu t A/V"- ~
.4 east of Lake Washington A

H J /Irri Si'o Season

_- I_ 'a I ..

oDil precipita ion af La le Washing on

S Daily prtcipitfaion at Greenv lie, ashit on Cout q



taneously (the third located about 9,000 feet from S4)
and caused a total decline of about one and one-half
feet in addition to the decline caused earlier by the
other two wells. Close analysis of the hydrograph
however, indicates that the total decline would have
been somewhat greater in the observation well ex-
cept for returns to the water table of irrigation (in-
soak) water applied to the fields and seepage losses
from canals.
In late August and early September there were
periods of reduced pumping or no pumping and the
water table rose substantially as shown by the graph.
The net decline of the water table from April 30 to
September 30, 1954, was about two feet. However,
there was a net rise between mid-April measurements
in 1954 and 1955, indicating ready local recharge
from favorable rains that fell during the first four
months of 1955.
A general downward trend of the water table
will be observed on Figure X between the step rises
caused by rains. This represents movement of
ground water away from the well locality and is
probably associated with a real drought condition
causing regional decline of the water table, which
was observed elsewhere.
It was decided in the spring of 1954 to con-
struct a water-table map of Bolivar County (Figure
XI) for the following reasons:
1. It would likely be typical of other counties
bordering the Mississippi River.
2. Irrigation development is greatest in Boli-
var County.
3. A virtually complete inventory of irrigation
wells had been made for the county.
4. The map would show the effect of concen-
trated pumping.

About 250 wells, including drive points used for
domestic and stock purposes, and abandoned irriga-
tion wells were used for observation purposes in
making the map. A set of measurements was obtain-
ed in the first half of April, 1954, for all the wells.
Another set of measurements was obtained in the
last week of August. The differences between April
and August measurements were plotted. These dif-
ferences showed that the water table fell on the
average 0.6 of a foot on the flanks and 5 to 6 feet
throughout the heavily pumped areas. The maxi-
mum change of 13.7 feet occurred in an observation

well near the center of pumping west of Bogue
Three major cones of depression developed dur-
ing the pumping season. (See Figure XI). The larg-
est and most extensive lies between Deer Creek and
Bogue Phalia southwest of Cleveland. It indicates
a local maximum water-table decline of more than
10 feet. Two smaller cones lie 6 to 12 miles, respec-
tively, northwest of Cleveland. A third small one
lies north of Cleveland. Two other comparatively
small cones are in the northern part of the county.
A set of measurements obtained on the same wells
in April, 1955, for a comparison with the measure-
ments of April, 1954, showed that there was full re-
covery of the water table during the winter, with
the exception of the area 6 miles northwest of Cleve-
land. There the recovery lacked about two feet of
reaching normal levels.
The cones do not indicate overpumping or ex-
cessive lowering of the water table. In fact some
lowering may help by causing more water to flow
toward the wells from the adjacent areas. Excessive
use in relation to replenishment can only be proved
after a long period of observation based upon sev-
eral sets of seasonal measurements.
Elevations at the wells will be determined so
that a water-level contour map can be prepared.
This subsurface map will be similar in appearance
to a topographic map of the land surface. It will
show the high and low places in the water table. It
should also indicate the direction of flow of ground
water, into and within the area, the sources of re-
charge, and the influence of associated streams and
In the Grand Prairie district of Arkansas serious
problems have developed in the past several years
as a result of falling water levels caused by inten-
sive irrigation pumping. Investigators are now ex-
perimenting with artificial recharge methods for
building up the water table in the more critical lo-
calities. Although present data indicate that the hy-
drologic conditions in the rice-growing district of
Mississippi are not exactly similar to those in the
seriously affected Grand Prairie district, the records
for Mississippi at this time are too short and inade-
quate to make a direct correlation with any degree
of accuracy.
Possibilities of serious water-table declines may
be averted by proper well spacing. Should problems
arise from over-development, the ground-water res-
ervoir in the alluvium may at considerable expense

Decline of Water Table Due to Pumpage From April to Aug. 1954, Cleveland Area, Miss.

2 1 0 5 10 Miles
I I I i e I


Irrigation well
Contour showing water-
table decline, 5-foot




o 0



o o
oo0 o





I Sunflower County









0 0



be artificially recharged in the several places that
appear favorable for selective flooding or by pump-
ing water from streams into key wells. Such meth-
ods have been successfully used in other states; and
the U. S. Geological Survey is investigating possibili-
ties in this field for Mississippi, should the need
arise. However, the need for artificial recharge is
not now apparent.
A very large quantity of water, which has ac-
cumulated over a long period of time, is stored in
the natural underground reservoir formed by the
sand and gravel beds that underlie the Mississippi
Delta. The exact method of natural replenishment

is not known, however, it seems to meet present
No one can predict how extensive the future
irrigation development may be except to foresee the
present rate of increase extended a few years into
the future. Therefore, additional field research is
needed before reliable predictions can be made con-
cerning the ultimate safe yield of the shallow
ground-water aquifer in the Delta. This is a water-
rich area. But the supply is not inexhaustible and
more rigid conservation methods should be applied
before critical problems arise which call for drastic

_~ ___.__ __ _~_~~~I

Types of Pollution:
There are basically two types of pollution: (1) the
vast load of silt that annually is carried into our
streams; and (2) the unwanted liquid wastes from
our cities and industries.
Silt is really top soil; a precious asset in its prop-
er place. As water-borne silt, however, it adds im-
purities to surface waters and deteriorates its quality
for municipal and industrial use. The prevention of
pollution of streams with silt is a problem of land

Liquid wastes are classed as sanitary sewage
and industrial wastes. Sewage includes the liquid
wastes from our homes, business establishments, res-
taurants, laundries, hospitals, hotels, and the like-
wastes that are essentially organic in character. In-
dustrial wastes are the acids, chemicals, oil, greases,
and animal and vegetable matter discharged from
our factories, food-processing plants, oil fields, and
the like. The problem of stream pollution from san-
itary sewage and industrial wastes is to a consider-
able degree a problem of water use. Liquid wastes
from our cities and industries must be disposed of
by some means. As far as our present knowledge
goes, there is no other way to ket rid of at least a
part of the tremendous volume of such wastes ex-
cept by way of surface streams. Consequently, there
is a need to balance the use of the surface waters so
that they can absorb the pollution load without de-
stroying other beneficial uses of these waters. Prop-
erly managed, a stream can throw off impurities.
Overloaded, it loses this ability. The life-giving qual-
ities of the water disappear; and the stream, in ef-
fect, becomes an open sewer. When this happens,
the quality of the water has so deteriorated that its
use has been destroyed for sustaining fish and wild-
life, for water supply purposes, for recreational pur-
poses, and for irrigation. In addition, such conditions
are detrimental to the public health and welfare and,
if left uncorrected, will eventually have a serious
effect on the economy of the State.

Effects of Pollution:
Water has a unique characteristic-its recurring
cycle and repeated availability, which is in sharp
contrast to most of our natural resources. Water can
be taken from a stream, used for a beneficial pur-
pose, and if returned undamaged, this same water
can be used again and again as it moves downstream.

On the other hand, if it is returned to the stream
heavily polluted, it will effect the remaining water
in the stream and, thus, destroy the stream for bene-
ficial uses for varying distances downstream. The
stream may be ruined for sustaining fish and wild-
life; all recreational value of the stream is destroyed;
cities and industries may be handicapped, as the
water may be unfit for water supply purposes; the
water may be carrying pollutants that would make
the water unfit for irrigation and other agricultural
uses; odors are usually prevalent; and ultimately the
health and welfare of downstream communities and
farm residents may be affected. Under such condi-
tions the people have lost a valuable resource.
Mississippi has an abundant rainfall, but un-
fortunately this rainfall is not evenly spread over the
year. Consequently, during the long summer
months, our period of low rainfall, the streams ex-
perience a period of low flows. So far as pollution
is concerned, this creates a critical condition. Pollu-
tion discharged into the stream does not vary as the
rainfall. As a result many streams, during the sum-
mer, receive more pollution than they can absorb
and serious pollution conditions develop. This can
only be prevented by lessening the pollution load
discharged to the stream by treating the waste to re-
move as much of the pollution material as necessary
to enable the stream to handle the remaining.
Present Situation:
While Mississippi has yet no large cities, there
are a number of cases of gross pollution of streams
with sanitary sewage. This occurs chiefly during the
summer months. These conditions can only grow
progressively worse as our urban population in-
creases. New industrial developments in the State
are creating new pollution sources. At the present,
certain industries in the State are causing serious
damage to some streams. As with domestic sewage,
the industrial waste problem will only get worse as
the industrial development increases. As a result of
uncontrolled discharge of domestic sewage or indus-
trial wastes, and in some cases both, long stretches of
certain streams in the State have become dead
streams in so far as beneficial use of the water is con-
cerned. There is a need for a more realistic attitude
toward the value of our surface waters as a natural
resource, and the realization that this resource can
be lost through neglect. There is a definite need for
a water resource policy that will conserve this re-
source for beneficial purposes. The key to the prob-
lem is the proper use of water.

Recent Construction of Sewage Treatment Plants:
Sewage and waste treatment is expensive. In the
absence of adequate law, and a realization of the ef-
fect of uncontrolled stream pollution on the health
and welfare of the people and on the economy of the
State, most of what has been done in eliminating this
problem has been on a voluntary basis. More progress
in the construction of sewage treatment plants has
been made in the past five years in Mississippi than
in any similar previous period. This is due to two
things: (1) the passage by the Legislature in 1950 of
the municipal bond act permitting the issuance of
revenue bonds for the construction of sewage im-
provements; and (2) the increasing public recogni-
tion of the need for sewage treatment for eliminating
stream pollution and the hazards resulting from un-
controlled waste disposal. Since 1950 there have been
put into operation in Mississippi 21 sewage treatment
plants. Of these 11 are municipal plants, four serve
state institutions, one serves a government establish-
ment, and five serve private residential developments
outside municipal limits. Of these 21 plants, 15 pro-
vide complete treatment and six provide primary
treatment. The total cost of these plants was $1,990,-
973.52. At the present time plans are being prepared
for seven municipal sewage treatment plants for six
different cities. The plants are estimated to cost ap-
proximately $753,000.00. Six will provide complete
treatment and only one will provide primary treat-
ment. It is felt that there is no adequate legislation

at this time requiring the treatment of municipal sew-
age. In fact, the present stream pollution law vir-
tually exempts municipalities from the provisions
Figure XII shows the relative cost, on a gallon-
age basis, of nine sewage treatment plants of the same
type which have been constructed in the State since
Disposal of wastes into wells is a problem for
some areas in Mississippi. Oil field brines are being
injected or poured into disposal wells in many oil
fields, some no doubt into aquifers containing non-
potable water. There is, however, some question as
to the quality of the native water in other places
where brines are being disposed of-some having
argued that the formation contains potable water and
that the waste makes the ground water unusable.
The dangers of pollution by oil field brines have
long been recognized by the public and the oil in-
dustry in other states, but not until after several
ground-water reservoirs had become polluted. Pollu-
tion can occur even if soluble or liquid wastes are
disposed of in pits or ponds located on outcrop areas
of important aquifers. Mississippi needs legislation,
based on basic data, to safeguard her ground-water
resources from all forms of pollution. Once a ground-
water reservoir is polluted it is practically impossible
to remedy the situation.

Cost of Sewage Treatment Plants

,1lloI.oL, [ WLIII I I I 'i I F


I I 1

This figure shows -he relative cost,
on a gallonage basis, of nine sewage
treatment plants of the some type
which have been cons'rucf-ed in fhe
State since 1050.
The cos+ of any proposed sewage
treatment plant may be estimated
from this figure.

oy90, OOZ

.'------,. J-- M. ,L LFIE L

$ ,00, o ,,,L S',E if .p F s / .

& 25 T i # 5 5

-4 ,. /,32 0.. --
$ o, oo, 7 O, 0/ I

/ ,$.7 0S, 0/

,00,1 .) (P NK-W"--

$1f C \ S E Of/. 8 .9 .




I .


1.2 1.4 1.6

.1 .2 .3 .4 .5 .6 .7 .8 .9 1.0


The survey carried out by the Commission pro-
vides estimates indicating that the average daily non-
agricultural use of water from all sources is about
529,000,000 gallons. The report of the Inter-Organ-
izational Committee estimated agricultural use as
about 55,000,000 gallons daily, based on 1950 esti-
mates. There has been an enormous expansion in ag-
ricultural use of water since the last estimate in 1950.
Estimates of agricultural use for irrigation alone,
based on the best available information, indicate a
use of 2,250,000,000 gallons daily during the three-
months growing period.
Industrial and Municipal Use
Two hundred seventy-nine reporting agencies,
including 81 industries, schools, colleges. and hospi-
tals, and 198 municipalities, have reported a maximum
daily ground-water use of an estimated 317,754,000
gallons. This water is produced by 778 wells, ranging
in depth from 25 feet to 2,074 feet with yields of from
25 to 2,000 gallons per minute. The water level
ranges from 0 to 400 feet below pump base, with only
one reported at the greater depth. In the vast major-
ity of wells, the water level is recorded at less than
200 feet. Centrifugal and turbine pumps are the type
generally in use. The range in horsepower is from
3 to 200, the most common being 20 to 75 horse-
Forty-eight municipalities and two industrial
units reported that their present water supply system
is inadequate. There is a planned expansion by two
industrial units which will require the daily use of
1,440,000 gallons of ground water and about 99,720,-
000 gallons of surface water by 1957.
Practically all of the municipalities, and 25 of the
industrial agencies reported using some form of puri-
fication. The municipalities made no disposal reports.
The 81 industrial agencies reported eight septic-tank
disposals; 34 natural drainage disposals, and 10 sew-
age disposals. Some 26 failed to report at all.

Agricultural Use
County Agricultural Workers Coordinating Coun-
cils from 82 counties estimated that a total of some
967,000 acres could be irrigated from all sources of
water supply. They also reported a total of about
2,100,000 water acres in the state. Some 1,149 natural
lakes could furnish irrigation for an estimated 117,-
211 acres, and 93,466 artificial lakes and ponds could

possibly furnish irrigation water for about 93,083
acres. The four large reservoirs in the headwaters of
the Yazoo River include 29,200 surface acres. But no
provision for irrigation storage seems to have been
made when these reservoirs were built.
The councils estimated that 812 flowing streams
could irrigate 603,630 acres, and that 4,200 intermit-
tent streams, which flow from 1 to 10 months out of
the year, could irrigate an estimated 100,150 acres. It
is pointed out, however, that when irrigation is most
needed during the hot, dry season, the majority of
these intermittent streams would be dry. In drought
years many of these streams are dry the entire crop
season. Thus seasonal storage is essential if irriga-
tion is to be expanded.
The councils reported a total of 224,863 shallow
wells, 145,218 of which are driven or drilled to a
depth ranging from 20 to 300 feet. These wells could
possibly irrigate an estimated 53,320 acres. (US GS
records indicate that shallow wells-less than 150 feet
deep-already are irrigating more than 100,000 acres
in the Delta alone).
Some 29,612 deep wells were also reported, rang-
ing in depth from 75 to 2,200 feet and producing from
5 to 1500 gallons per minute. These wells could furn-
ish water to irrigate an estimated 6,215 acres.
The county councils also reported that:
1. As of January 1, 1955, there is less water
available from springs, streams, and shallow and deep
wells than was available 5 and 10 years previously;
reported by 66 out of 82 counties.
2. The number of wells for irrigation purposes
has increased in 26 out of 82 counties.
3. The number of wells for household water use
has increased in 59 out of 82 counties. (Later informa-
tion indicates that there has been an increase in every
4. A greater volume of water was used in 1955
for agricultural purposes than during corresponding
periods 5 and 10 years earlier; reported by 80 out of
82 counties.
5. A still greater volume of water would be
used for agricultural purposes if it were available; re-
ported by 79 out of 82 counties.
(Note: The estimated area that could be irrigat-
ed from natural lakes, artificial lakes, flowing streams
(both permanent and intermittent) and wells, is 967,-

_ __I _~ ____

394 acres. 'It should be pointed out that in the opin-
ion of Irving E. Anderson, District Engineer, United
States Department of the Interior, Geological Survey,
the acreage that could have been irrigated during
August, 1954, an extremely low month, on the basis
of a 50 percent withdrawal from streams, using the
crop requirement of 6 inches of water per month,
would be only 400,000 acres. The figure of 967,394
acres used above includes an estimate of some 600,000
acres to be irrigated from flowing permanent streams.
In light of these differences, further investigation
would probably alter the estimated total.)
During dry periods a certain minimum flow is
required to satisfy the needs of some municipalities,

municipal sewage disposal, and industrial waste dis-
posal; therefore, it would be extremely dangerous to
predict the maximum avreage possible to irrigate from
surface streams.
6. The volume of water required for agricultural
purposes in 1959 will be greater than today; reported
by 79 out of 82 counties.
7. In answer to the item "List in order of de-
creasing importance the five land use practices which
in your opinion will contribute most to water con-
servation," all 82 counties, with slight variations, re-
ported reforestation, pastures, cover crops, rotation of
crops, sub-soiling and terracing.


In the past the people of Mississippi have con-
cerned themselves mainly with navigation, the control
of flood waters, and the drainage of wet land areas.
These are still extremely important. But in recent
years the use of water for many other purposes
has received greater consideration by reason of eco-
nomic expansion and water storage. These two broad
subjects of water determines present and proposed
surface water development programs.
Flood Control and Major Drainage:
The principal surface water projects for control
of surface runoff are concentrated in the headwaters
of the Yazoo Basin, to provide flood protection to the
Allulvial Plain, and in the Sunflower Basin, to pro-
vide major drainage outlets in that area.
Authorized plans are divided into three parts; the
Yazoo Headwater Flood Control Project, the Big Sun-
flower River Project, and the Yazoo Backwater Pro-
ject. All three projects are under the direction of the
Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg District.
The present status of the Yazoo Headwater Flood
Control Project is as follows: The Arkabutla, Sardis,
Enid, and Grenada Reservoirs have been completed;
channel improvement works, consisting of clearing,
snagging, enlargement and cutoffs, (except for four
cutoffs in the vicinity of Greenwood) have been com-
pleted, or are near completion, on the Coldwater,
Tallahatchie, Yazoo, Little Tallahatchie, and Yalo-
busha Rivers, and Cassidy and Bobo Bayous; levees
on the upper reach of Coldwater River have been
completed to an interim grade; and a considerable
portion of the Greenwood Protection Works has been
completed. Works for protection of Yazoo City have
been initiated. The Yazoo Headwater Project as a
whole is approximately 55 percent complete.
The Big Sunflower River Project designed to pro-
vide major drainage outlets, has progressed as fol-
lows: channel improvements consisting of clearing,
snagging and enlargement have been completed on
the lower fifty miles of Steele Bayou, the lower nine-
teen miles of Big Sunflower River, the lower sixteen
miles of Quiver River, and a five-mile reach of Deer
Creek. The project is approximately seventeen per-
cent complete.
Work on the Yazoo Backwater Project has not
been initiated. The plan of improvement consists of

constructing about 54 miles of levees on the west bank
of the Yazoo River from the present terminus of the
Mississippi River levee immediately above Vicksburg,
to Yazoo City, and 45 miles of levee on the east bank
of the Yazoo River for the protection of two areas
known locally as the Rocky Bayou area and the Sar-
tartia area, with its extension.
The status of these projects, as of April 1, 1954,
is shown in Figure XIII. Completion of these three
projects will practically eliminate overflow for affect-
ed lands in the major drainage systems where the im-
provements have been made. The reduction in over-
flow is shown in Figure XIV.
There are four existing and authorized flood con-
trol projects in Mississippi under the direction of the
Corps of Engineers, Mobile District: Tombigbee Riv-
er in Itawamba County, Pearl River at Jackson, Sowa-
shee Creek at Meridian, and Gordon Creek at Hatties-
burg. Of these, the Tombigbee River and Sowashee
Creek projects consisting principally of channel clear-
ing and straightening, have been completed. Accord-
ing to computations made by the Corps, the Sowashee
Creek improvements will lower flood stages in Meri-
dian from two to four feet. The Gordon Creek pro-
ject is in the planning stage, and its completion will
depend upon local interest complying with required
conditions. The Pearl River project at Jackson pro-
vided for clearing the channel and floodway of the
Pearl River in Jackson and vicinity. Because of the
estimated high cost of maintenance and the limited
benefits that would occur, local interests declined to
participate in the project as required by the authoriz-
ing legislation. It has been recommended by the Mo-
bile District, Corps of Engineers, that no further action
be taken on this project until completion of the pres-
ently assigned flood control study of the Pearl River
at Jackson and above.
River Navigation:
River navigation is limited to the lower Pearl and
Pascagoula Rivers, and navigation projects under the
direction of the Corps of Engineers, Mobile District,
have been completed on both. That on the Pascagoula
River has been a maintenance project only, but that
on the Pearl, now completed as far as Bogalusa,
Louisiana, involved construction of locks. The Ten-
nessee-Tombigbee Waterway, contemplating a slack-
water route from New Orleans to the Upper Mississip-
pi River is now indefinite because of lack of funds.

_ ~^__~_I_ ____

Status of Flood Control Projects


LD S T 0

...A Hay.

- 0 1o ....- L 1 \


_ob L A CA R R E

SHIH j GHEttkvm

I LrW B S Tm ER,"e


G /




Reduction In Overflow


Area subject t overflow
prior to initiation of
project works
Area remaining subject
to overflow with
projects completed


__ _1 _

Proposed Surface Water Projects:
Only one major flood-control project not present-
ly authorized and under construction exists in the
state. That is the proposed channel rectification, cut-
off and cleaning project on 21 tributaries of the Tom-
bigbee River in northeast Mississippi. This project
was studied by the Corps of Engineers, Mobile Dis-
trict, and reported favorable in a report dated Feb-
ruary 10, 1954.
The Mississippi Game and Fish Commission has
developed many small recreational lakes in connec-
tion with the state park system. Eight such lakes
ranging in size from 12 to 640 acres have been com-
The Game and Fish Commission has presently
under consideration for construction, two more lakes,
one on Toomsuba Creek and one on Bear Creek.
Other Developments:
There has been some local development of sur-
face streams for municipal water supply, industrial
development, and recreation, but these have all been
small local water developments.
More than 90,000 ponds have been built by pri-
vate land owners, mainly for recreation and to pro-
vide stock water.
Loans For Soil and Water Conservation:
(U. S. Public Law 597)
A new program of soil and water conservation
loans encourages and helps farmers in the improve-
ment, protection, and proper use of farmland by pro-
viding adequate financing for soil conservation; water
development, conservation, and use; and drainage.

These loans are under the administration of the
Farmers' Home Administration.
The loans help farmers and ranchers, who are
unable to secure adequate credit from conventional
sources, make good use of land diverted from the pro-
duction of surplus crops, protect their land resources
against adverse weather conditions, and improve their
economic circumstances.

Loan funds may be used to pay the cash costs
of making improvements directly related to soil con-
servation, and use; forestation, drainage of farmland,
and related measures.
Technical assistance necessary for planning and
installing the improvements is obtained by the appli-

cant from the Soil Conservation Service, Extension
Service, other agencies, private individual, or firms.
Although this program is just getting underway,
there had been 416 applications for credit by Aug-
ust 1, 1955.
The absence of specific legislation enabling in-
dividuals and others to acquire clear and definite
water rights is handicapping this program to a certain
Watershed Programs:
A flood prevention program was authorized by
the Congress and has been carried on for a number
of years in eleven watersheds. The Yazoo-Little Tal-
lahatchie Rivers watershed are among them. The area
included in these watersheds is approximately 4.2
million acres, or 1/7 of the State. These watersheds
are drained by four major tributaries: The Coldwater,
Tallahatchie, Yocona, and Yalobusha Rivers.
The Yazoo-Little Tallahatchie Flood Prevention
program has four major objectives, consisting ofo
a combination of land-treatment and structural meas-
ures. The four objectives are: (1) the control of dam-
aging water-flow and sediment-through the use of
floodwater retarding structures and desilting basins,
(2) reduction in number of duration of overflows-
through stream channel improvement in conjunction
with flood water retarding structures, (3) protection
of stream channels-by use of measures designed to
stabilize channels, and (4) correction of land abuse-
through measures which have a direct measurable
effect in reducing flood and sediment damage, and
which can be accomplished by individual landowners
with technical and other assistance.
This intensive erosion and flood prevention land-
treatment program is being carried on jointly by the
Soil Conservation Service and U. S. Forest Service,
with local leadership provided by Soil Conservation
District Commissioners. The four major categories
in which the activities on this coordinated program
can be grouped are: (1) land use adjustment, (2) land
treatment, (3) flood water retarding structures, and
(4) channel development, including stream stabiliza-
Land use adjustment is an important phase of the
program. Improvement of watershed conditions is
dependent upon the use of land for those purposes
to which it is best adapted, based on its capabilities.
Plans have been prepared which designate the proper
use for approximately one-fourth of the area that
makes up the Yazoo-Little Tallahatchie Watershed-

approximately 1,000,000 acres including 6,500 farms.
Conversion to proper use is taking place at a very
encouraging rate. The use of approximately 45,000
acres of idle and gullied land, including some steep
crop land, has been changed to woodland. The use
of another 45,000 acres has been changed to peren-
nial grasses or legumes from idle land and steep, erod-
ing crop land as a result of watershed activities.
Land treatment measures reduce damaging sur-
face runoff, erosion, and sedimentation and increase
productivity. Out of a total of 837,000 acres of crop
land in the watershed 228,000 are being properly
managed with the application of conservation meas-
ures. Approximately 57,000 acres of cropland have
been terraced, requiring the establishment of some
1,250 acres of field waterways. One-fourth of the
400,000-odd acres of hill crop land is farmed on the
contour. Some type of rotation, although not always
adequate, is being followed on 163,000 acres. This in-
dicates a trend away from the single-cropping system.
Approximately 151,500 acres of pasture improve-
ment has been completed. In addition, 7,395 stock
water ponds have been constructed. Some of these
pastures are on steep, highly erodible slopes, former-
ly idle or in crops.
Forests have been improved by planting tree seed-
lings in understocked stands of timber, by timber
stand improvement and management, and by refor-
estation of abandoned lands best suited for forest
use. All except three of the counties in the water-
shed now have fire control. Of all remedial meas-
ures, fire control is undoubtedly the greatest aid to
flood prevention. Despite one of the largest tree
planting programs in the Nation, the revegetation job
is just beginning. Over 65,000 acres have been
Flood water retarding structures have not been
undertaken as yet on a large scale. Only one has
been constructed to date. However, several will be
constructed in the near future. These structures will
serve to help control damaging waterflow and sedi-
ment. There is a great need for structures of this
type in the watershed.
Approximately 80 drop inlet type desilting basins
have been constructed for sediment storage. These
basins are designed to catch and store sediment from
severely gullied and eroding areas.
Channel improvement is an important factor in
land use adjustment and land treatment in the Yazoo-
Little Tallahatchie Watershed. Channel improvement
successfully reduces the peak discharges of streams

and decreases the duration of overflow on valley lands
when flooding does occur. Significant progress has
been made in the watershed in stream channel im-
provement and a number of large projects have been
completed. Approximately 320 miles of stream chan-
nel improvement has been completed. This includes
major and minor projects. The major projects that
have been completed are the Upper Tallahatchie Riv-
er and one of its main tributaries, Lappatubby Creek.
Approximately 23,387 acres of the best crop land in
the watershed were enhanced by the completion of
these projects.
Several streambank stabilization projects have
been installed in an effort to develop methods of stab-
ilizing meandering streams or head cutting. A tre-
mendous volume of work remains to be done in this

Considerable success has been had in the stab-
ilization of small streams, primarily through the use
of "jetties" or double lines of piling driven along stra-
tegic bends, tied together with wire to form a me-
chancial barrier which facilitates the growth of appro-
priate vegetative plantings along the toe of caving
banks. Such plants as willows, or kudsu are used for
these plantings.

Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention
(U. S. Public Law 566)
Watershed planning and treatment is one import-
ant part of the overall conservation approach to the
use and treatment of the country's indispensable soil,
water, and plant resources.

Watershed conservation actually is the regular
program of farmer-organized and farmer-managed soil
conservation districts, supplemented by the addition
of flood prevention and other measures in small trib-
utaries and by wider participation by whole com-

The element of local-state-federal cooperation
and non-federal participation is basic to the operation
of the watershed act and to the success of the activi-
ties under it. The Act also supplies a basis for coordi-
nating such locally undertaken upstream watershed
improvements with water resource development pro-
jects on major rivers.
Water conservation is, therefore, as specified in
the Act, an implemening tool to a going program of
soil and water conservation.
This program of small watershed protection in
the state is in the early formative stages. Following

the passage of Public Law 566, by the 83d Congress,
there has developed considerable interest in this pro-
To date thirteen applications have been received
by the Soil Conservation Service, and the State Soil
Conservation Committee from interested local groups.
The latter is the state agency designated by the Gov-
ernor to represent him in the consideration of appli-
cations for participation in the small watershed pro-
Unfortunately, at the time these applications were
submitted, local organizations which met the require-
ments of P. L. 566 did not exist in Mississippi. How-
ever, at the 1955 Extraordinary Session of the Missis-
sippi Legislature, legislation (SB 1220) was passed
which would "confer certain additional powers on
already existing drainage districts for the purpose of
soil and water conservation and utilization; and would
provide for the creation of drainage districts for the
purpose set forth in this act; and would provide for
other related purposes."

A number of the original applicant watershed
groups are now in the process of organizing drain-
age districts in accordance with the broadened pur-
poses and powers provided by SB 1220, and it is
expected that there will be a growing interest as the
initial districts are activated through the completion
of watershed work plans and the installation of need-
ed works of improvement. It is also expected that
SB 1220 will expedite the cooperation of local groups
in the authorized projects of the Little Tallahatchie
River and Yazoo River Watersheds.

There are about 20 additional watersheds where
expressions of interest have been indicated, and in-
terest is developing very rapidly in this program.

It should be kept in mind that Senate Bill No.
1220, as finally passed, does not intend to "confer
upon any drainage district any additional powers per-
taining to irrigation." This is a limiting provision
which can be best provided for by the passage of
adequate legislation governing the formation and
functioning of irrigation districts.

The need for watershed programs, other than the
two authorized projects, is widespread. This applies
to every part of the state, except the lower coastal
plain area, where generally the valley areas are nar-
row in relation to the contributing watershed area,
and have in most cases, not been opened up or de-

The objectives to be met by watershed programs
are (1) better land utilization, (2) land treatment for
erosion control and runoff reduction, (3) channel im-
provement, (4) drainage of land, (5) reduction of flood
water and sediment damage, and (6) utilization and
management of water resources. These objectives
must be met in varying degrees in various parts of
the state.
For instance, there is a great need for a compre-
hensive and complete plan for soil conservation and
water management for the Delta area. This plan
would be one which takes into account (1) a pattern
of orderly channel improvement for interior flood
control, (2) the maximum development and wise use
of surface water and ground water supplies for irri-
gation purposes, and (3) a pattern of land use and
land treatment which will provide the maximum ero-
sion control for the protection and improvement of
agricultural lands and for the protection of lakes and
waterways against sedimentation. This plan should
not be a piece-meal plan, but should represent the in-
tegrated thinking and efforts of all interested agencies
and groups.
A similar approach should be made to the soil
and water utilization, and flood prevention problems
of the Tombigbee River Watershed in the northeast-
ern part of the State, where all or parts of 16 counties
are embraced in this watershed.

Basic Data Collection-Surface Water:
Any surface water development, whether it be
for flood protection, drainage, irrigation, municipal
water supply, sewage and industrial waste disposal,
electric power generation, industrial use, recreation,
navigation, real estate development, highway design,
or any one of the many other activities related direct-
ly or indirectly to water, must be based on a sound
and thorough knowledge of surface waters. Such
knowledge should include river stages, volume of
stream flows, relation between volume of flow and
river stages, magnitude and frequency of floods, min-
imum stream flows and their duration, variations in
daily and annual discharge, interrelation between
ground water and surface water, land evaporation and
transpiration, and relation between stream flow and
rainfall, high and low water profiles of rivers, and
other surface water characteristics.

Several agencies of the Federal Government in
cooperation with various state agencies are presently
engaged in collecting such data. Stream flow investi-
gations were first started in Mississippi in 1900 by the
establishment of river measurement stations on the

Tombigbee River, at Columbus, and on the Yazoo Riv-
er at Greenwood. The number of such stations was in-
creased by one in 1901 when a station was established
on the Pearl River, at Jackson. In 1906, because of
the need for data for drainage projects in the Delta,
stations were established on the Coldwater, Talla-
hatchie, and Yalobusha Rivers. However, these in-
vestigations were terminated in 1912.

Surface water investigations were not resumed
until 1929 when, because of the great Mississippi
River Flood of 1927, flood control was brought into
national prominence, sixteen river measurement 'sta-
tions were established in the Tombigbee, Yazoo and
Pearl River Basins. It was not until 1938, however,
that the Mississippi Legislature, realizing the need for
surface water data in economic development, appro-
priated funds for this investigation. The investiga-
tion still continues.

The current surface water investigational pro-
gram which is participated in by the Mississippi Geo-
logical Survey, the Mississippi Highway Department,
the United States Geological Survey, the Corps of
Engineers, Vicksburg, Mississippi and Mobile, Ala-
bama districts, and the Soil Conservation Service, is
state-wide in scope. It is designed, insofar as avail-
able funds permit, to provide data on which to base
current surface water developments or improvements.
The surface water investigational program is
divided into three parts: collection of basic data, hy-
draulic analysis, and hydrologic analysis. The basis
of any surface water development is the stream flow
record, either at the site of the proposed development
or nearby. To provide this basic data, the stream flow
stations are maintained and operated continuously,
insofar as available funds will permit. There are 71
currently operated stream flow stations in Mississippi
hereinafter referred to as the regular network. They
are shown in Figure XV.

From these stations, such basic data as stage, vol-
ume of flow, relation between stage and flow, maxi-
mum and minimum stages and flows, and the distribu-
tion of flow on both a daily and an annual basis are
obtained. However, it is not practical to collect all
of these data on every stream in the state. Thus, sup-
plemental data, such as low flows and flood flows,
are collected on a fairly regular basis at several sites
other than those in the regular stream flow network,
mentioned above. These are called "partial record
stations" and are shown in Figure XVI. By correlating
the data from the partial record stations with those
from the regular network, information can be determ-

ined for nearly any stream, whether or not any data
are available.
The data collected is summarized in the annual
Water-Supply Papers of the United States Geological
Survey and annual publications of the Corps of Engi-
neers, Vicksburg District, and the Mississippi River
Commission. Copies of these and related publications
are available in libraries, and in the offices of the
publishing agencies.
Additional Surface Water Data Needed:
The need for adequate surface water data for
orderly development of Mississippi's surface water
resources is imperative. The present program for col-
lecting the basic hydrologic data and for general in-
vestigations is inadequate. It must be expanded and
accelerated immediately if private and public groups
are expected to invest in new water developments,
uses, and disposal systems.
Additional streamflow stations are needed in
areas where there is a possibility of future surface
water development in the near future. This includes
the coastal area where stations are needed on Wolf
River, Jourdan River, Little Biloxi River, and Tchou-
tacabuffa Creek. Stations are also needed in the
upper reaches of the Amite and Tangipahoa Rivers,
and on Bayou Pierre.
There are no data available on the total yield
from very small creeks, the type on which many
farm ponds are constructed. Although a percentage
of the state's more than 90,000 ponds (See Figure
XVII) were constructed without benefit of engineer-
ing services, it can be stated that in a majority of
cases, such service would have been worthwhile in
assuring an economical and safe design. A knowledge
of the total yield of the tributary area would insure
the design of proper-size ponds, a knowledge of the
maximum flow to be expected would also insure
proper spillway design.
Much basic hydrologic research is needed. Re-
search into evaporation and transpiration and con-
sumptive use rates would lead to sound design of irri-
gation and drainage systems, upstream watershed pro-
tection structures, farm ponds, and recreational facili-
ties. Studies should be made of the effect of farm
ponds, and watershed structures upon surface runoff
and on groundwater supplies. Since many lakes are
now being used for irrigation purposes, it seems de-
sirable that studies be undertaken to determine safe
withdrawal rates. Of special concern is the interrela-
tion between surface water and ground water in cer-
tain critical areas of water demand and supply.

_ _

Streamflow Stations in Mississippi


\- __ I -.r--.-----.
Iu N o -
PI ,A 0 LA AFAYETTE i .-----.-i I E
Si ,-----1I
L u 4 YALOBUSNA I i I- j
*dl-- ,, I :

i ; i ....n J i t

i L i T T L A WI N S T 0 N
-J -- -


*' R 1 -N w 'O I I LAUDERDALE '

4NDS -
F -----l-------- -f-~~~~

-......... .MI"' TH ..I CLARKE
C 0 P I A H S I M S 0 N
J.1 i E F E--*.-S 0H-- r i i
.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ,- . ,. -.-.-.
L-----0 i




r I

Distribution of Partial Record Stations By Counties

1 2 N... 4
S- 11 7 1

rfi-.-. ILAFAIYETT '. 2 ---- I

6 i FLOW R i
i 6 i .own_ j 1 I
C- _A.J 'O N!,o j -'11 fu )WNDI

S14 I .N6L, jR I 3 5 .
( .- 12 '.....- 1 li I 2

-. 5 17 4 4 2
/'.-"-J i .H.. ( .. L i

3O / ./ A/ >Q.. EA M
6 0 4 5
i 14 J
S /1 L-H 6 6 i 4 I
.. ,"{ 19 /' 8 .m _.. _...L_ ._. _..
I 1
Sr ONE 7L 6

r5 3 2 2 i L I
3 t174 4 2 .DAVI1

E Fu of sa io in 4 c o unty.38
KR 2 6 5 A K I

8 5 . .
Each Figure represents number of stations in county. 7 --Ht.Vn. 5- i 1
-J 8 5

Source: U. S. Geological Survey, Water Resources Div.

The introduction of irrigation has accentuated
the importance of small streams. The low-water flows
of these streams should be thoroughly analyzed to
develop data on sustained flows, rates of recession,
storage requirements, possibilities of existing sites for
both storage and detention, and other pertinent data.
High and low water profiles should be developed,
not only for major streams, but also for all streams
in, or adjacent to, municipalities and irrigated areas.
Such profiles would provide a safeguard against un-
safe farm and real estate developments.

Chemical analysis of our surface waters would
provide valuable data for industrial expansion, steam
power generation, and pollution control. Sedimenta-
tion studies should be made to determine sedimenta-
tion rates for ponds, lakes, reservoirs, and streams.

The water rights law of Mississippi is largely the
common law as developed by the courts with minor
changes made by statute and the Constitution. This
body of law has been geared more to disposal of
water and navigation than to consumptive or non-
consumptive uses. Nevertheless, this existing law is
a matter which must be taken into consideration by
water users and the legislature in seeking to build
the economy of the state.

Rights in defined watercourses:
The law of defined watercourses relates almost
entirely to streams and rivers. But it probably would
apply to lakes too if issues were presented to the
courts calling for decisions in this field.
DEFINITIONS:-A watercourse is a natural chan-
nel with defined bed and banks through which the
water is conveyed and discharged, even though the
channel may be dry part of the time or artificially
created in whole or in part. 1/
An artificial channel may exist under circum-
stances and for such time that it would be treated for
riparian purposes as though it were a natural chan-
nel or stream. Once an artificial channel has become
a natural channel, it does not lose its character as a
watercourse because it has fallen into disrepair. Be-
fore it can be widened it must be one that takes care
of the water naturally and normally flowing in the
watercourse. It must carry all the water of the stream.
Presumably this means the normal flow.
A natural watercourse is a drain for adjacent

lands and the riparian owner is entitled to use the
natural channel for this purpose. But a drain may
also be an artificial channel. 2/
Navigable waters of the state are all rivers, creeks,
and bayous in Mississippi, 15 miles long and having
sufficient depth and width of water for 30 consecutive
days in the year to float a steamboat with carrying
capacity of 200 bales of cotton. They are also public
highways. 3/
All bays, inlets, and rivers and such of the lakes,
bayous and other watercourses which have been or
may be declared to be navigable by act of the legisla-
ture or by the board of supervisors of the county in
which the same may be, shall be public highways. 4/
Ownership of beds: The state is absolute
owner of the title to the soil and of minerals therein
in the beds of all its shores, arms, and inlets of the
sea, wherever the tide ebbs and flows, as trustee of
the people of the state, subject to paramount right of
the United States to control commerce and naviga-
tion, with consequent right to use or dispose of any
portion thereof when that can be done without im-
pairment of the interest of the public in the waters,
and not inconsistent with this section of the Consti-
tution, and without unreasonable interference with
the riparian proprietors' right of access to and from
such waters and the reasonable use thereof as well
as the lands subject to tidewater, as a necessary in-
cident to the reasonable enjoyment of his adjacent
lands or with the right to full fishing by the public
generally. 5/
Riparian rights of water use:- Riparian land
ownership extends to the high watermark of navigable
waters, subject to public easements. Riparian land
ownership on non-navigable waters extends to the

C. E. Busby, Water Rights Specialist, Soil Conservation Serv-
ice, Berkeley, California, did the research and prepared the
basic materials for this section on water law at the request
of the Commission.
1/ Ferris V. Wellborn, 64 Miss. 29, 8 So. 165, 166 (1886);
Belzoni Drainage Cor. v. Winn, 98 Miss. 359, 53 So. 778,
779 (1910); Scranton-Pascagoula Realty Co. v. City of Pas-
goula, 157 Miss. 498, 128 So. 73, 75 (1930).
2/ Ferris v. Wellborn, 64 Miss. 29, 8 So. 165, 166 (1886);
Kansas City M & B R Co. v. Smith, 72 Miss. 677, 17 So.
78, 79 (1895); Belzoni Drainage Com. v. Winn, 98 Miss.
359, 53 So. 778, 779 (1910).
3/ Miss. Code, 1942, Ch. 1, p. 686. Note: This definition is
different than that applied to navigable waters of the
United States.
4/ Miss. Code, 1942, Ch. 3, p. 8413.
5/ State ex rel. Rice v. Stewart, 184 Miss. 202, 184 So. 247
(1938); Code, 1942.

Distribution by Counties of Natural Lakes and Ponds

TUNIC* A 50I i
S ----- R --

I -- --.-----
__ j ..... 970 YALOBUSHAI 6 i '
--- --- ------ Jil"I sa
S I I1._500 0 CHICKASAW 3,000
iI 0 N R 0 E
BOLIVAR ---, 550. w!no
i -- 0 --- --- -,-
UNiFLOWER' I &. ,_ -D.
LE.FLORE 500 815- ----
7~1 0 -0- L IS 1,T EHAS
\(( u I "n -. "cROLL 1.700 I _WU

WASH1NGTON 9 i | -
S : A T AA W I-- T N
S SARK 1,50 0

-- .t-------.
S300 0 0
\ATI- EN 2,6 MADISON 2,300 1,050 3,600

I *i --- 3 '
H I N0S 0 1 0
SN 1,050 2,500 950 800
3----- ------- t ---- ------
S i 0 P I A H S MPS 0N 1 ,000 i i 600
._ -,ooo. .
.E F -S 2,000 Ji 000j -----
n s ^fcc -------^- -- _M_(OINiO
]ff lZOO| ;LIHNCOLN | m/ f IJtFFEr$Or AWSV' I 000 i 4_ 0
A6AMS Fo |A A N K L 0j 0 0 1 No0,,
-800 i ,50- T,-- --,-

LON 1,055 500 ISO LAA.0 R EENE
69 0 I 1,000 0S, i


Lower figure = ponds


middle thread of the stream, unless this has been re-
stricted by prior grant, subject to the public right of
navigation. 6/ '
The riparian owner has no property in the water
itself, but only a simple right to use it as it passes
along. 7/ This is very important. It implies that the
public owns the stream itself.
Prima facie, every proprietor on the bank of a
river or the soil through which a stream passes is en-
titled, by reason of his ownership of lands, to the use
of the water flowing by in its natural current or chan-
nel without diminution or obstruction. Such proprie-
tor may refuse permission to any person to go over
his land so as to approach the water. He may demand
any sum he thinks fit for permission to do this, unless
there be a public way over it. 8/
The right to have a stream flow freely may be
extinguished by (1) operation of law, (2) act of God,
and (3) act of the landowner himself. If done by an
act of the landowner, it must be something decisive
and unequivocal and destructive of the right or in-
compatible with its exercise. There may be implied
or express waiver of the right. Implied waiver must
be manifest by some act of the party absolutely in-
compatible with the right claimed, amounting to an
abandonment. There must be an intention so to do.
Combination of the act plus intention amounts to a
release. But temporary relief of drainage conditions
does not constitute abandonment. 9/
Obstruction of streams:-The legislature shall
never authorize the permanent obstruction of any of
the navigable waters of the State but may provide for
the removal of such obstructions as now exist, wher-
ever the public welfare demands it. This does not
prevent construction of drawbridges for railroads or
other roads or of booms and chutes for logs as not to
prevent safe passage of vessels or logs, under regu-
lations. 10/
Constitutional provision relative to obstruction of
navigable waters includes waters of Mississippi
Sound. 11/
Railroads have the duty to provide for the free
flow of water in a stream crossed by their tracks. They
must make, keep free of obstruction, and otherwise
maintain openings of such capacity as are necessary
for the full passage of water, including overflow be-
longing to the stream.
An inferior proprietor may not, by any dam, how-
ever useful to him, throw back the water in any ap-
preciable degree however small, upon the proprietor

above him, and if so he would be guilty of an action-
able nuisance for which a remedy is provided.
The difference of level between the surface where
the stream first touchs his land and the surface where
it leaves it is the privilege of water power which the
proprietor may use and appropriate in any way desir-
ed by him for his advantage, without interruption on
the part of others; and any interference on the part of
others will subject the wrongdoer to all the conse-
quences imposed by law.
Where a stream has left its usual channel and
formed a new one on the land of an adjoining riparian
owner, the latter has a right to turn the waters back
to the old channel by barriers, without being required
to clean out the old channel as to restore the same to
the depth and condition existing before the stream
changed its course. 12/
The State may authorize diversion of a stream
from its old channel for purposes of improving navi-
gation and riparian owners have no cause of com-
plaint. 13/
A riparian proprietor, without legislative sanc-
tion, cannot rightfully maintain a boom for the stop-
page of logs. 14/
Railroads are liable for avoidable damages sus-
tained by landowners by reason of the filling up of
their trestles, the failure to provide culverts and other
openings, or the failure to remove old piling and other
causes as would ordinarily be required in a particular
place, and such as a prudent man under the circum-

6/ Morgan v. Reading, 3 Smedes & M. 366, 401-406 (1844);
Com. of Homochitto River v. Withers, 29 Miss. 33, 64 Am.
Dec. 126 (1855); Magnolia v. Marshall, 39 Miss. 109, 116-
136 (1860); Evans v. Fisher, 40 Miss. 682 (1866); Pasca-
goula Boom Co. v. Dixon, 77 Miss. 593, 28 So. 724 (1899);
Anderson-Tully Co. v. Tingle, 166F. (2d) 224, 227 (1948).
7/ Magnolia v. Marshall, supra; Masonite Corp. v. Steeds, 21
So. (2d) 463, 464 (1945).
8/ Magnolia v. Marshall, supra; Com of Homochitto River v.
Withers, supra; Kansas City M & B R. Co. v. Smith 72
Miss. 677, 17 So. 78, 80 (1895); Liles v. Cawthorn, 78 Miss.
284, 29 So. 834 (1901); Bd. of Sup. of Quitman Co. v. Car-
rier Lumber & Mfg. Co., 103 Miss. 324, 60 So. 326, 328
9/ Arkansas v. Tennessee, 246 U. S. 158, 38 S. Ct. 301 (1918);
Hill City Compress Co. v. West Kentucky Coal Co. 155
Miss. 55, 122 So. 747 (1929).
10/ Mississippi Constitution, Article 4, Section 81; Miss. Code,
11/ Money v. Wood, 152 Miss. 17, 118 So. 357, (1928).
12/ Miss. Cent. R. Co. v. Mason, 51 Miss. 234, 246 (1875);
Liles v. Cawthorn, supra; Yazoo & M V R Co. v. Brown,
99 Miss. 88, 54 So. 804, 805 (1911).
13/ Homochitto River v. Withers, 29 Miss. 21, 74 Am. Dec.
126 (affirmed in 20 How. (U. S.) 84, 15 L. Ed. 816).
14/ Pascagoula Boom Co. v. Dixon, 77 Miss. 587, 28 So. 724,
(1909). Note: This statement implies that the legislature
can authorize certain types of stream obstructions.


stances would have been likely to provide. This is
true even though there may be natural causes contrib-
uting to the injury, whether or not the obstruction is
reasonable and whether a portion of the stream had
been straightened into an artificial channel. 15/

One injured by a private nuisance may abate it
of his own authority. If the nuisance be by water
thrown back in the channel of a stream so as to raise
the level of the water where it passes from his land,
thereby diminishing his water power, and such flood-
ing is caused by a dam or obstruction made by the
inferior proprietor and remove so much of the dam
or other obstruction as causes the refluent water.

This redress, like any other redress which a pri-
vate party may do for himself, must be exercised rea-
sonably, without strong hand, and must not exceed
the measure of the right. And the right is to remove
only so much of the dam or obstruction as will free
the stream on his own land from refluent water caused
by such dam or obstruction. 16/

Any person may enter and remove any and all
obstructions to the navigation thereof which may be
in or across or over any navigable stream. 17/

The summary procedure of Ch. 34, Sec. 1935 of
the Mississippi Code of 1871, concerning stream ob-
structions, refers only to mills, gins and other mach-
inery. It does not refer to levees or ditches. 18/
Courts of equity have jurisdiction to grant in-
junctions to restrain persons from damming bayous
or other natural outlets when resulting injuries are
manifest, continuous or constantly recurring and the
right to relief is clear.
By showing individual and special damages aris-
ing from levee construction, one may abate a struc-
ture as a public nuiance provided it was not built by
the county supervisors under condemnation proceed-
ings. 19/

Vagrant flood waters:- It has been stated
that riparian proprietors, by reason of their owner-
ship of adjacent lands, are entitled to have a stream
flow by in its usual course, whether in times of low or
flood water and the overflow waters, under the gen-
eral rule, are considered to be part of the stream al-
though not in the channel. However, this strict rule
has been modified by the courts of Mississippi in ac-
cordance with the drainage policy of the State, which
seeks to protect and reclaim vast areas of fertile crop
lands from floods. This relates especially to vagrant
flood waters from rivers which tend to spread out

through bayous into the lowlands, returning to the
rivers far downstream. Thus, under this exception to
the riparian doctrine, vagrant flood waters are not
now considered to be regular waters or the normal
flow of defined rivers and streams. They are also re-
ferred to in this connection as extraordinary floods.
Individual landowners and drainage districts are
entitled to protect themselves from the consequences
of such flood waters and other riparian landowners
may not complain because all are entitled to the en-
joyment of the common right to construct protective
works. However, this right must be exercised so that
(a) works constructed will not encroach upon the nat-
ural bed of the watercourse, (b) works will be built
in conformity with police regulations, if any, and
(c) works will be built for the protection of the prop-
erty of those doing the construction and not for the
purpose of injuring others. 21/

Damage to riparian land owners resulting from
such protective works is not a legal injury under the
State Constitution. 22/

In adopting the rule that vagrant flood waters
may be protected against, the court seems to have
treated these waters as the result of extraordinary
floods for which a railroad would not be liable. The

15/ Miss. Cent. R. Co. v. Caruth, 51 Miss. 77, 78 (1875); Miss.
Cent. R. Co. v. Mason, 51 Miss. 234, 246 (1875); Miss. &
T. R. Co. v. Archibald, 67 Miss. 38, 7 So. 212, 213 (1890);
Thompson v. Mobile, J. & K. C. R. Co., 104 Miss. 651, 61
So. 596, 597 (1913); New Orleans & N. E. R. Co. v. Bur-
dette---Miss.---183 So. 915, 916 (1938). See also 27
R. C. L. 1105-6; 1064-65; 67 C. J. 679, 680, 2 Farnham.
16/ Liles v. Cawthorn, 78 Miss. 559, 29 So. 834 (1901).
17/ Miss. Code, 1942, Ch. 3, pp 8415.
18/ Trice v. Langrone, 57 Miss. 839, (1880).
19/ Learned v. Hunt, 63 Miss. 373, (1885); Bd. of Sup. of
Quitman County v. Carrier Lumber & Mfg. Co., 103
Miss. 324, 60 So. 320, 327-328 (1913). Note: It appears
that the holdings just above outlined were modified by
later rulings which interpret the drainage policy of the
20/ Kansas City, M & B R Co. v. Smith, 72 Miss. 677, 17 So.
78, 79-82 (1895); Cubbins v. Miss. River Com., 241 U. S.
351, 36 S. Ct. 671, 674 (1916); Indian Creek Drainage
Dist. v. Garrott, 123 Miss. 301, 85 So. 312, 318-319 (1920).
21/ Cubbins v. Miss. River Com., 241 U.S. 351, 36 S. Ct. 671,
674-676 (1916). Note: Under this general rule it was also
held that riparian proprietors may not complain where
the United States makes improvements for navigation pur-
poses; Jones v. George, 126 Miss. 576, 234 (1921); Jones
v.,George, apparently overruled the decisions in the Can-
non case, 81 Miss. 324, 33 So. 81 (1902) and Carrier case,
103 Miss. 324, 60 So. 326 (1913) in regard to that portion
of those decisions which held that overflow waters are
part of the river and subject to riparian rules as to ob-
struction, including rights to injunction and abatement of
levees across openings of bayous.
22/ Indian Creek Drainage Dist. v. Garrott, 123 Miss. 301, 85
So. 312, 319 (1920).

_1 ~___

burden of proof of an extraordinary flood rests with
the one asserting it. 23/

The obstruction of outlets connecting with the
rivers and bayous has been permitted under this doc-
trine by defining the bayou, slough or similar depres-
sion as a mere conduit or passageway for foreign or
vagrant flood waters. Another way of saying this is
that a bayou is not a running stream. The flood waters
are not to be confused with diffused surface waters
standing in or moving over the surface of the bayou
during heavy rain. 24/

But it should not be assumed by the foregoing
that the obstruction of rivers and streams within their
regular or natural banks is permitted under the ripar-
ian doctrine. The court has stated that the riparian
doctrine applies where there is a defined watercourse
and the waters i'e not vagrant or extraordinary flood
waters. It has also indicated that the broad flood plam
of a river is not the natural stream channel. 25/

On this basis, ordinary waters of a natural stream
may not be diverted from one watershed to another
watershed. And this applies to work of a drainage dis-
trict as well as that of a landowner. 26/

In fending off vagrant or extraordinary flood wat-
ers, the parties building levees and other works do
not have absolute rights in this regard. Rather, if
there are two ways of doing the work, each equally
efficacious and neither requiring unreasonably 'great-
er expense than the other, one of which will damage
adjoining property and the other will not, the latter
method must be adopted. This may require a com-
bination of levees, flood gates and other works rather
than levees alone. 27/

An upper riparian landowner may straighten a
watercourse by artificial channel of such width and
depth as to prevent overflow on and improve or re-
claim upper lands, even though this may increase the
volume and speed of othe stream at his lower land
boundary. And if the upper owner does this, then the
lower owner may do likewise when there are no ex-
ceptional circumstances. He may not impede the flow
so as to back it up on the upper owner's land or cause
it to accumulate there in unnatural quantities. How-
ever, neither right is an absolute one. 28/

Pollution of streams:- An upper land-owner
may not pollute a stream. The fact that the
polluting cause was a manufacturing plant did not
alter the plaintiff's right of recovery. 29/ But he
must prove loss of profits resulting from the polluting
cause. 30/

A right of action for pollution of land by a stream

does not pass from the grantor to grantee with a con-
veyance because he takes the riparian land as he finds
it whether he may have known of the depreciate
value or not. However, such grantee would be en-
titled to damages for any increased pollution occurring
atter the purchase.
A non-riparian owner would not have a cause of
action for injury to the stream or fish but could re-
cover for injury resulting from increase of mosqui-
toes. 31/
Prescription:- It has been stated that a right
over the shore and to the water in a stream may be
acquired by custom or prescription. The right is lim-
ited by the character and extent of use exercised dur-
ing the period of prescription. For any increase above
this., causing material damage, a cause of action
would lie. 32/

23/ Thompson v. Mobile, J. & K. C. R. Co., 104 Miss. 651, 61
So. 596 (1913); Covington v. Cassidy Bayou Drainage
Dist., 154 Miss. 119, 122, So. 205, 211 (1929); New Or-
leans & N. E. R. Co. v. Burdette,---- Miss.----, 183
So. 915 (1938).
24/ Indian Creek Drainage District No. 1 v. Garrott, 123 Miss.
301. 85 So. 312, 319 (1920); Jones v. George, 126 Miss.
576, 89 So. 231, 234 (1921); Covington v. Cassidy Bayou
Drainage District, 154 Miss. 119, 122 So. 205, 210 (1929);.
Note: The court apparently has not yet passed on a lower
court ruling that a bayou is not a watercourse.
25/ Cubbins v. Miss. River Com. 241 U. S. 351, 36 S. Ct. 671,
676 (1916); Pompey Lake Drainage Dist. v. McKinney
Lake Drainage Dist., 136 Miss. 168, 99 So. 387 (1924);
Covington v. Cassidy Bayou Drainage Dist., 154 Miss.
119, 122 So. 205, 211 (1929).
26/ Pompey Lake Drainage Dist. v. McKinney Lake Drainage
Dist. 136 Miss. 168, 99 So. 387, 390 (1924); Toler v. Bear
Cree Drainage Distk., 141 Miss. 851, 106 So. 88, 91
(1925). Note: It would seem that this might per mit the
diversion, storage and use of flood-waters for beneficial
purposes within or among watersheds of the state if au-
thorized by statute and no substantial damage to property
results for which just compensation has not been paid.
27/ Toler v. Bear Creek Drainage Dist. 141 Miss. 851, 106
So. 88, 90-91 (1925). Note: This decision relies upon the
principles laid down in Holman v. Richardson, 115 Miss.
169, 76 So. 136 (1917), but the latter seems to deal more
with diffused surface waters rather than vagrant flood
waters. In any case the Toler decision seems to apply the
reasonable use rule to vagrant flood waters along the
lines of the Holman decision.
28/ Board of Drainage Com. of Bolivar Co. v. Board of Drain-
age Corn. of Washington Co., 130 Miss. 764, 95 So. 75
(1923); American Sand and GGravel Co. v. Rushing, 182
Miss. 496, 184 So. 60, 61-62 (1938); Jones v. Walker,---
Miss.--- 44, So. (2d) 466 (1950). Note: The court does
not seem to define fully what are the limitations under
this rule.
29/ Mississippi Mills v. Smith, 69 Miss. 299, 11 So. 26, 27
(1892); American Sand & Gravel Co. v. Rushing, 183 Miss.
496, 184 So. 60, 62 (1938).
30/ Masonite Corp. v. Steele, 198 Miss. 530, 21 So. 2d, 463,
464 (1945).
31/ Masonite Corp. v. Barnham, 164 Miss. 840, 146 So. 292,
294 (1933).
32/ Magnolia v. Marshall, 39 Miss. 109, 131 (1860); Missis-
sipps Mills Co. v. Smith, 69 Miss. 299, 11 So. 26, 27


By implied grant or lapse of time, when a grant
will be presumed, a railroad may acquire the right to
discharge water through openings in its embank-
ments. But this did not carry with it the right to con-
struct additional openings or to increase the capacity
of the original ones. 33/

A drainage ditch existing for the prescriptive
period is limited to conditions existing during that
period. The ditch cannot be widened or deepened
to provide for the diversion of flow from a water-
course where it is accustomed to flow, after the pre-
scriptive period has passed. 34/
An artificial channel becomes a natural water-
course when for the prescriptive years it has taken the
place of and served in lieu of the original channel. 35/
One having had adverse, exclusive, continuous,
uninterrupted, open and notorious use for the statu-
tory period by maintaining a dam to a certain height,
causing flowage of land, has an easement which can-
not co-exist with the right of the other party to drain
the flowed area. Occasiional letting out of the water
at the dam is not such interruption as to break the
continuity. As in the case of a right-of-way, the party
need not always be on it. The prescriptive period in
Mississippi is 10 years, corresponding with the local
statute of limitations. 36/

A right acquired by lapse of time is just as valid
as any other. 37/
A right to flow lands may be acquired by pre-
scription, whether the obstruction is natural or artifi-
cial. When once acquired it is absolute. The con-
tinuous flowage is sufficient notice that the use claim-
ed is adverse. It must be under claim of right, open
notorious and adverse to the true owner and must
be continuous and of such character as to interfere
with the rights of the one against whom it is claimed.
There must be an acceleration in velocity or vol-
ume of water flowing onto the land of another from
the tile drains of the first party for a cause of action
to arise. When this existence is not known, the re-
quirements of open and notorious occurrence are not
satisfied. 39/

Diffused Surface Waters

Diffused surface waters:-Diffused surface wat-
ers are defined as those casual or vagrant surface
waters which (a) have not found their way into or be-
come a part of well-defined streams and (b) are not
vagrant flood waters overflowing from the channels
of rivers and spreading out over the countryside. 40/

At the common law, diffused surface waters were
considered a common enemy which a landowner
could arrest, fight off or divert for his own necessary
protection without liability for damage to an adjacent
land owner, provided the water had not come to rest
in a reservoir or lake or other body of water. It is
said this rule was applied under simple agricultural
conditions before the country was developed indus-
trially. 41/
After such waters lose their casual and vagrant
character, reach a place of rest, and become part of a
body or collection of water, they are subject to the
dominion and control of the landowner where they
have accumulated. 42/
However, in managing these waters, the landown-
er is not required to exercise reasonable care. If al-
ternative methods for taking care of water are avail-
able, and these are not more expensive and will not
inflict damage, they must be employed. 43/
Under the common enemy rule, the upper land-
owner, whether corporation or natural person, could
not collect, concentrate and discharge diffused sur-
face waters in unnatural quantities upon the lands of
another to his injury. 44/

33/ Harvey v. Ill. Cent. R. Co., 111 Miss. 835, 72 So. 273,
274 (1916).
34/ Harvey v. Ill. Cent. R. Co., Supra; Sturges v. City of Meri-
dian, 95 Miss. 35, 48 So. 720 (1909); Miss. Mills, supra;
Creson v. Louisville & N. R. Co., 166 Miss. 352, 146 So.
462, 463 (1933).
35/ Scranton-Pascagoula Realty Co. v. City of Pascagoula, 157
Miss. 498, 128 So. 73, 75 (1930).
36/ McAarrah v. Southern R. Co.--- Miss.---. 79 So. 180,
182 (1918).
37/ Alcorn v. Sadler, 71 Miss. 634, 14 So. 444, 445, 42 Am
St. Rep. 486 (1894).
38/ Crumbaugh v. Mobile & O. R. Co. 105 Miss., 485, 62 So.
233 (1913).
39/ Holman v. Richardson, 115 Miss. 169, 76 So. 136, 137-
138 (1917).
40/ Alcorn v. Sadler, 66 Miss. 221, 5 So. 694, 695 (1889);
Miss. & T. R. Co. v. Archibald, 67 Miss. 38, 7 So. 212
41/ Illinois Cent. R. Co. v. Miller, 68 Miss. 760, 10 So. 61, 62
(1891); Sinai v. Louisville, N. O. & T. R. Co., 71 Miss.
547, 14 So. 87, 88-90 (1893); Columbus & G. R. Co. v.
Taylor, 149 Miss. 269, 115 So. 200 (1928).
42/ Alcorn v. Sadler, 66 Miss. 211, 5 So. 694, 695 (1889). Note:
It has also been stated that the landowner may appropriate
diffused surface waters to his own use. But this state-
ment does not seem to have been necessary to the deci-
sion of the case. Harvey v. Illinois Cent. R. Co., Ill
Miss. 72 So. 273, 274 (1916).
43/ Holman v. Richardson, 115 Miss. 169, 76 So. 136, 137
44/ Illinois Cent. R. Co. v. Miller, 68 Miss. 770, 10 So. 61, 62
(1891); Kansas City M. & B. R. Co. v. Lackey, 72 Miss.
881, 16 So. 909 (1895); Canton, A. & No. R. Co. v. Paine
Miss.--- 19 So. 199, 200 (1896); Yazoo & M. V. R. Co.
v. Davis, 73 Miss. 678, 19 So. 487, 488 (1896); Alabama
& M. R. Co. v. Beard, 93 Miss. 294, 48 So. 405, 407,
(1909); Harvey v. Ill. Cent. R. Co., 111 Miss. 838, 72 So.
273, 274 (1916); Board of Drainage Com. of Bolivar
County v. Board of Drainage Com. of Washington Coun-
ty, 130 Miss. 764, 95 So. 75, 77 (1923); Cresson v. Louis-
ville & N. R. Co., 166 Miss. 352, 146 So. 462, 463 (1933).

_ ~__ __ _~~_

Upper landowners may discharge diffused sur-
face waters into a stream when done in good hus-
bandry and the right is reasonably exercised, even
though this results in exceeding the capacity of the
channel below. Otherwise, the lower landowner
might have a monopoly of the channel for drainage
purposes, and be the dominant tenement, preventing
use of vast areas of fertile lands above. It might also
be contrary to the drainage policy of the state, as set
forth in its drainage district laws. 45/ By the same
token, the lower owner would have a monopoly of the
stream for use purposes if the natural flow must be
maintained undisturbed.
The Section 90, paragraph "q" of the Constitu-
tion, concerning prohibition against passage of local
or special laws, has no application to local laws pro-
viding for artificial drains, since it provides for chang-
ing "all natural drains", all natural watercourses. 46/
However, where artificial drains are involved, the
owner of land is not required, where he has construct-
ed an artificial drain wholly on his own land, to main-
tain the same when the subsequent acts of nature
place an unreasonable or impossible burden on him
to do so, and for the purpose of preventing waters
from seeking their natural level and following a dif-
ferent course due to causes beyond the control of
such landowner. 47/
The landowner is entitled to damages for injury
to his lands by water and sediment resulting from col-
lection, concentration, and discharge of diffused wat-
ers upon his property, but not for damage to crops
and lands too. Where evidence is sufficient, the de-
termination of the damages to be assessed is a ques-
tion for the jury. 48/
It appears that Mississippi courts have moved
away from the common enemy to the civil law doc-
trine as an outgrowth of adoption by the legislature
of the drainage district statute.
When no improvements have been made upon
contiguous upper land and it remains in its natural
state, the owner's right is that the diffused surface
waters shall flow upon and into contiguous lower
The owner of the lower land has the right, upon
receiving the upper diffused waters, to take such
steps and use such means as he may elect to carry
the water away from his lower land. But he may not
use any of the upper land or impede the flow of wat-
er causing it to back up or accumulate upon the upper

land to any greater extent than it would have ac-
cumulated under natural conditions.
But the owner of the upper land, although he
may make any reasonable use of his land without
liability for any unavoidable injury incident thereto,
does not have the right to collect diffused surface wat-
er into an artificial channel or channels and then dis-
charge it or allow it to be discharged upon the lower
land at a greater or unnatural volume or in a more
concentrated flow than would have resulted had the
natural conditions been left undisturbed. Thus, when
alterations in natural conditions are made by the
upper landowner, so as to cast the water upon the
lower owner in greater volume or in a more concen-
trated flow, the upper owner by means of his own and
on his own land must take care of the excess or must
do so in cooperation with the lower owner. 49/
Ground waters:-Ground waters are presumed to
be percolating until defined, continuous, underground
channel is shown. A defined underground channel
must be known or easily ascertainable and discover-
able from the surface of the ground without subsurface
exploration if the law of surface streams is to apply.
This may occur where the stream sinks beneath and
rises to the surface again.
Percolating ground waters belong to the realty
to be used at will by the owner thereof for any pur-
pose of his own, whether it be for machinery, milling
or a reservoir on his own land. 50/

45/ Board of Drainage Corn. of Bolivar County v. Board of
Drainage Com. of Washington County, 130 Miss. 764, 95
So. 75, 78-80 (1923); Jones v. Walker,-- Miss.- 44
So. (2d) 466, 467 (1950); Masonite Corp. v. Windham, 210
Miss. 90, 48 So. (2d) 622, 625, (1950). Note: The court
noted this rule to be the minority one.
46/ Belzoni Drainage Com. v. Winn. 98 Miss. 359, 53 So. 778,
779 (1910).
47/ Holman v. Richardson, 115 Miss. 169, 76 So. 136 (1917);
Steed v. Kimbrough, 197 Miss. 430, 19 So. (2d) 925
(1944); Brinkley v. Eaton,---- Miss.--- 39 So. (2d)
491, 493 (1949); 67 C. J. 873.
48/ Illinois Cent. R. Co. v. Miller, 68 Miss. 760, 10 So. 61,
62 (1891); Yazoo & M. V. R. Co. v. Darden--- Miss.-
34 So. 386, 387 (1903).
49/ Illinois Cent. R. Co. v. Miller, 68 Miss. 760, 10 So. 61
(1891); Sinai v. Louisville, N. O. & T. R. Co. 71 Miss. 547,
14 So. 87 (1893); Holman v. Richardson, 115 Miss., 169,
76 So. 136 (1917); Steed v. Kimbrough, 197 Miss. 430,
19 So. (2d) 925, 926-927 (1944), 27 R. C. L. 1151 et. seq.
and C. J. 677, note 45; Newton Coca-Cola Bottling Co.
v. Murphrey, 212 Miss. 823, 55 So. (2d) 485, 488-489
(1951); Filtrol Corp. v. Hughes, 199 Miss. 10, 23 So. (2d)
891, 892 (1945).
50/ Bd. of Sup. of Clarke Co. v. Miss. Lbr. Co., 80 Miss. 535,
31 So. 905, 906 (1902). Note: The decision in this case
seems to adopt the strict common law rule and relies on
Action v. Blundoll, 12 Mees & W. 335, 152 Eng. Rep.
1223 (1843) and key decisions of Fla. and Vermont.

Where there is an agreement between two users
of artesian well water, the determination of the size
of pipe required to make the proportionate distribu-
tion under the agreement must take into consideration
the resistance involved in such pipes. 51/
Roots which invade one's well and cause pollu-
tion of the water supply may be considered a nui-
sance. The party adversely affected has a right to cut
them off and recover any damages caused by them.
The party causing this injury has no right to main-
tain and continue it after notice of its injurious char-
acter. He must so restrain the tree roots as not to work
injury to his neighbor. He is not required to destroy
the roots of his trees but only to prevent their en-
croachment upon the property of others. 52/
Note: The Commission is including a diagram
(Figure XVIII) and explanatory materials which will
help to illustrate in non-legal terms certain phases of
the riparian rights doctrine of surface watercourses.
Under the old natural flow theory, he who owned
a piece of land touching a stream (a riparian owner)
was entitled to have the full flow of the water come
by his place undiminished in quantity and unimpaired
in quality.
If A (See Figure XVII )on the lower reaches of the
stream commanded the full flow of the stream, what
effect would this have on B near the headwaters of
the stream X? Could he make substantial use of the
water? No, not under the strict natural flow theory.
So, in effect, A would have a monopoly. B couldn't
use the water, or at least only a small portion.
From the standpoint of public policy this would
be considered a monopolistic and non-use rule. But
as water use came more and more into the picture in
the development of this country, people had to modify
the law. In other words, uses tend to make the law.
In the early days of our development as a coun-
try, the use of first importance was the domestic use.
So our first basic exception to the natural flow theory
was that of the domestic right of use. C or D, could
take as much water to satisfy his family needs as
might be necessary, even to the extent of exhausting
the full flow of the stream. Thus, for domestic use,
the natural flow theory was in effect dropped, and
the interrupted flow theory, which is a Western con-
cept, substituted for it. The stream could be interrupt-
ed in order for the domestic user to make use of the
What is the meaning of domestic use? C, under

the modified common law, can make use of water for
domestic purposes, involving these things: drinking
water, water for ordinary household uses, family farm
animals, and for small gardens or lawns. The right
does not include use for golf courses, nurseries, and
commercial herds of beef or dairy cattle. In other
words, domestic use is family-type use. A riparian
user can exhaust the stream for domestic purposes.
Given a very small stream, limited and variable
in supply, it is possible for C to exhaust the stream
for domestic purposes, and D would not have any
water, simply because C is upstream. Thus under the
modified old law, the upstream user has a degree of
preference. He does not have what is called a prior-
ity, but rather a preference simply because of position
on the stream. We in this country started out with
the old French collective idea, and then we moved
over to a concept of an exclusive right of use, which
was typically English in origin.
Other exceptions to the original natural flow
theory developed also. One had to do with detention
of water. We might assume that D represents some-
one who wants to detain water for a mill or power
use. The need to build dams and operate machinery
brought about this change in the law.
After making exceptions for domestic use, our
people made other exceptions, all of which come
under what is called the reasonable use rule. And
the reasonable use rule has several parts.
In the early days, as water use expanded, there
was need for detention of water for power dams to
operate mills for grinding wheat into flour, corn into
meal, and to saw lumber. First we had an agricul-
tural economy which gradually developed into an in-
dustrial economy. But the question was: How long
could E, for example, detain or store water in a reser-
voir, assuming this would affect someone below? The
general rule in the Eastern states is this: One may
detain water of a stream one day or night, sufficient
to generate power the next day or night. That was
held to be a reasonable use. If it resulted in injury
to someone below, he could not complain, otherwise
no use could be made of the stream. Thus it seems
that the more complex the economy becomes, the
more we have to store and conserve water.
Another exception is diversion. This question
concerns what diversion can be made under the modi-
fied natural flow theory. In the first place a riparian

51/ Kirby v. Gay, 136 Miss. 781, 101 So. 705 (1924).
52/ Buckinham v. Elliott, 62 Miss. 296 (1884).

Illustration of Certain Phases of Riparian Rights Doctrine of Surface Watercourses



/ /



owner can divert water to riparian lands; but if he
does, he must return the unused portion to the natural
channel before it leaves his lands, unless he has ease-
ments above and below. In any case he must not use
the stream so some other user is prevented from using
the flow after it has left his lands. K, for example,
can divert and use water from stream X on K2, but
not on K1.
One cannot divert water from a stream to non-
riparian land, nor for a non-riparian use. What is ri-
parian land? What is a riparian use? What, in other
words, is the nature and extent of one's riparian rights
to use water with reference to his particular piece of
property? Here is where the old natural flow theory
and reasonable use rule present difficulties. A rea-
sonable use is a so-called equal share. It is not equal
as to amount of water. One's riparian right of use is
limited by all the needs of those lying below him on
the same stream. Take irrigation as an example. Sup-
pose B needs a lot of water for irrigation. The follow-
ing year C below starts to irrigate. In a few years D
does also. Use begins to expand rapidly. The more
the use expands, the more E's rights shrink. When
water supply shrinks, rights shrink, also.
The question of what is a reasonable use is a
question of fact for a jury to decide. So one has to go
to court to find the answer, and the jury must deter-
mine the facts on the basis of all the following: (1) the
time and extent of the flow of the stream (2) the exist-
ing rights of use, keeping in mind future rights of use
that might develop, (3) the nature of machinery being
used, (4) the extent of irrigation and other develop-
ments and (5) other facts that may be important. A
decision today may be out of date next year, or five
years from now. A jury in one county may make its
decision on one set of facts, and a jury in another
county, in almost the same situation, may make a
different decision. Riparian right, except for domes-
tice uses, then is indefinite.

Now to return to the question of what is ripar-
ian land. First, riparian land must touch the stream.
Second, it must be within the watershed of the stream /
at the point of touching. These two requirements
hold for most states. For example, M has a piece of
land that doesn't touch the stream. He has no right
to use water from that stream for his land because the
land must touch the stream under existing law. K, on
the other hand, is entitled to water from stream X on
K1, but not K2. If K takes water out of stream X and
carries it through K1 to K2 and uses it on that side of
the watershed divide, and drops the remaining portion
in stream Y, the remaining portion flows down stream

Y and bypasses L. In so doing, the diversion violates
L's right. This is non-riparian use on non-riparian
land, K1, insofar as stream X is concerned.
Riparian rights never extend beyond the maxi- 4
mum area of the original grant from the state. M, an
original grant, never carried riparian rights, because
none of it touched the stream, and it is outside the
watershed of stream X also. F originally owner F1, 2, a,
and 4. He sold off F4 and 2. As each of those par-
cels was sold off, it lost access to the stream and its
riparian rights, (unless these were specifically reserv-
ed in the deed.) F, except F1, lost the first basic re-
quirement that land must touch the stream, and the
riparian right is lost forever. Suppose he buys back
F2. He cannot re-invest F2 with riparian rights by
buying it back.
Areas along streams which originally carried ri-
parian rights save since lost these rights through sales.
Now, a narrow strip..along these streams is all that is
entitled to water. Present right is limited to the small-
est parcel in the chain of title (smallest parcel of land
touching the stream) leading to the present owner.
Use by a city is not a riparian use, even though
the municipality may own land touching the stream.
There are two exceptions to this. If the municipality
owns land in a proprietory sense, and actually is rais-
ing crops or generating power, the city would be en-
titled to water under riparian law. Or, if certain lots
in the city actually touch the stream, each owner
would be entitled to water under the riparian law.
C and D are domestic users. Suppose E is a
power user. E had his power right established under
a special legislative act. C and D could take all the
water they needed out of that stream for domestic
purposes. And E could do nothing about it, because
domestic users have preference. Suppose there are
several C's and D's downstream, all domestic users.
They must be satisfied before anybody else can make
use of the water. Domestic use is consumptive. But
one use would not materially affect E. E is a non-
consumptive user.

Suppose we have a domestic user, C, a power
the stream. If he pollutes the water and ruins it for
use, any domestic user below him has a cause of ac-
tion against him. Under the reasonable use rule, pol-
lution adversely affecting human beings, fish and
wildlife, and livestock has been subject to injunction.
But often this has not been found adequate, so many
states have resorted to statutory control systems.
Suppose we have a domestic user, G, a power

user ,E, and an irrigation user, G. This is irrigation on
land definitely riparian, G1, other irrigation on land
definitely non-riparian or which is questionably ri-
parian, G2. Below on the stream is an industrial user
who is polluting the stream, but he also depends on
a water supply coming from above. Still further down,
there is a reservation established for fish and wild-
life purposes. How are extensive uses and impair-
ment of quality going to affect these users? Domestic
users have preference. The established lawful rights
of use come next, as vested property rights. Then new

irrigators may come next. They probably have rights
for riparian lands, but there is a question of extent.
Non-riparian uses come last. The riparian irrigators
might drop out second, at least to the extent their
uses interfere with domestic and established rights. If
the irrigators interfere with established power uses,
the irrigators must drop out, in whole or in part. And
the fish and wildlife reservation at the end of the
stream is entitled to a certain amount of water both as
to quality and quantity.


Surface Waters
Surface water problems in Mississippi stem from
too much and too little water, lack of storage and
other facilities, deterioration in water quality, and in-
creasing competition between various water uses.
These problems are complex and interrelated. Their
solution requires joint consideration by all user groups,
including multiple purpose aspects of projects.
Mississippi's biggest surface water problem, cer-
tainly the most spectacular, centers around disastrous
floods. The average annual flood loss in the Tombig-
bee, Pearl, and Pascagoula River Basins is estimated,
on the basis of 1953 prices, to be in excess of three
million dollars. Damage resulting from the flood of
March, 1955, is estimated to exceed $2,300,000. The
annual flood loss in the Delta (Alluvial Plain), based
on current prices, is estimated to exceed five million
dollars. This estimate is based on field conditions
existing prior to installation of flood control improve-
ments in the Yazoo Basin. However, substantial re-
duction in annual flood damage has resulted from the
flood control programs already completed.
Another important surface water problem arises
from unrestricted use of flood plain lands for real
estate developments, particularly for residential pur-
poses. Usually, adequate records are kept on the big
rivers, and sufficient information is available to keep
alive a healthy respect for the possibility of floods.
Only those willing to take the calculated risk of being
flooded locate on the flood plains.
On the smaller streams, however, extensive real
estate developments take place with no one being
aware of the flood hazards until concentrated rains
cause flash floods. Often the small home owner suf-
fers the most. Residential developments along Hang-
ing Moss, Crane, Eubanks, Town, Lynch, and Hardy
Creeks, in the Jackson area, along Gordon Creek, in
Hattiesburg, and along Sowashee Creek, in Meridian
have suffered extensive damage during recent years.
The recent increase in irrigation for the growing
of rice and other crops has shown the inadequacy of
our surface water supplies and the possibilities of
real competition for water. It has been pointed out
that the surface supply varies as to place and time.
The low-water supply period occurs during the sum-
mer months when irrigation demand is at its peak.

Data compiled under the Agriculture Conserva-
tion Program indicates that about eight million acres
are used as cropland and about three million acres as -
pasture land. During August, 1954, the average rain-
fall over the entire State was only 1.4 inches. It is
estimated that a crop shouldhave-two inches of.water
every ten days for optimum results. This means, then,
that a shortage of 4.6 inches occurred during Aug-
ust, 1954. To supply that deficiency by irrigation
would have required 4.2 million acre-feet of water,
either from surface-water supplies or from ground-
water supplies, or both. The total flow of all of Mis-
sissippi's streams during August, 1954, is estimated to
have meen slightly in excess of 400,000 acre-feet or
only about 10 percent of the actual over-all crop re-
quirement. Stream flow during August, 1954, was, of
course, the lowest on record in many sections of the
State. Such low flow furnishes a yardstick by which
irrigation -poletiastthotk--be considered. As has been
said before, rigation need is the greatestvWhen
stream-flo6w is at its lowest. Seasonal storage is an
obvious necessity.
Pollution of Mississippi's streams poses another
big problem. Pollution stems from two sources:
(1) Sit or erosiQot- purist, aind t tmtreated sewage
from cities and untreated waste materials from indus-
trial establishments.
Sediment from farm lands causes damage to
stream and reservoir supplies, and lowers water qual-
ity for some uses. Some control over industrial waste
is exercised by the State Game and Fish Commission,
but there is no control over municipal wastes. In
spite of existing controls, there is increasing evidence
of industrial pollution of streams to the extent that
fish are killed in considerable quantities in some in-
stances. It is a matter of record that certain areas at
the mouth of the Pascagoula River are closed to shell
fishing because of contamination from the Pasca-
goula River. The full development of Mississippi
streams can never be fully realized until this problem
is brought under control. This ought to be the. sub-
ject of special study in the years ust ahead. It is pos-
sible that the problem can be solved in part by up-
stream storage and by more intensive application of
soil conservation measures, and resulting improved
stream flow. Increased treatment of wastes by muni-
cipalities and by industries, coupled with improved
stream flow, would go a long way toward solution.

This is related to the present study of quality use of
surface waters.
Industries and municipalities:
Most of Mississippi's industries and municipali-
ties use ground water supplies for their operation.
This indicates that the quantity use of streams for in-
dustrial purposes has not yet become important, but
industry and municipal uses cannot be disassociated.
The major water problem for municipalities is
sewage disposal and stream pollution. However, four
cities in the state use surface waters for municipal
purposes. Only Jackson seems to be faced with a
water supply problem at present. Jackson's problem
is, of course, expansion of its water supply facilities
to provide for a rapidly growing population. Pearl
River, Jackson's source of water, has a low-water flow
of 49 million gallons daily. Its maximum use demand
now is 24 million gallons daily. At its present growth
rate the city will soon be forced to increase its water
supply by storage or other means.
Recreational problems stem largely from compe-
tition between uses. There appears to be enough sur-
face water in Mississippi streams and lakes, even dur-
ing dry periods, to satisfy most recreation needs. How-
eve&-r, sTffiea pollution is ihaviig- an adverse effect
upon fish, in "spite of existing control measures. Irri-
gation has also had an adverse effect on fish through
stream deflection, especially in Bogue Phalia. The
use of lakes for irrigation, unless carried out with due
regard to other uses, may produce similar results.
Those competing uses need to be balanced, wherever
Irrigation is now competing with municipal wat-
er uses in certain areas. It could reduce stream flow
to the point where the supply may be endangered
or pollution aggravated. This has a special bearing
upon minimum flows and the need for control meas-
These of drainage ditches and canals for de-
livery of irrigation water may pose flood problems
too, if this takes place when the canals and ditches
are filled to capacity.
Thus, it would seem that the solution of Missis-
sippi's surface water problem requires a recognition
that water uses and water damage are interdepend-
ent and interrelated. Some uses are consumptive,
while others are not or are only partically so.

The whole may not necessarily be the sum of its
parts, for the parts can't entirely be separated. The
withdrawal of water for irrigation must be considered
with respect to municipal, industrial, and recreational
uses downstream; the use of drainage ditches and
canals for delivery of irrigation water must be con-
sidered in relation to drainage and flood problems in
the area; withdrawals for upstream uses must be con-
sidered in the light of present and future downstream
navigation; municipal and industrial development
must be considered with reference to pollution and
use of streams for domestic, livestock, fish and other
purposes, including navigation.
Underground Waters
Too little is known about this most important re-
source in Mississippi. More than 85 percent of the
water used for municipal and industrial supplies and
for irrigation is derived from wells. On the other
hand, it has been esti~nafted that about three-fourths
of the water produced from wells in some areas is
wasted. However, our basic information"- is i'mieager
whi-n one considers the broad aspects of water policy
involving legislation.
In the past, the State's small program for collect-
ing information on underground water has never re-
motely kept pace with development. The U. S. Geo-
logical Sur\i e': Jackson Office, received numerous re-
quests in 1954 for information on potential under-
ground water supplies in various parts of Mississippi.
The requests in 1955 have been increasing in number.
Such req guests can only be answered in a general way
because of lack of basic data on the hydrogeology of
the areas inufi estion. The requests concern water
supplies for industry, irrigation, municipal supplies,
the Armed Forces, and for individual domestic sup-
In Mississippi, little is known of the interrelation
of surface water and undergroundwater. Ma'nyr pii-
ple wonder why some streams go dry during periods
of little rainfall while others continue to flow. The
answer is that underground water enters the stream
in the form of seeps and springs and sustains the dry-
weather flow.
On the other hand, if the water table is below
the stream channel and the stream bed is of permeable
material, water escapes from the stream and sinks to
the underground reservoir leaving the stream dry.
Thus competition for water for irrigation, indus-
try, recreation uses and others may involve the com-
plex principles of ground-water hydraulics as well as

surface-water hydraulics where there are close inter-
relationships of water. Such competition has already
begun in some places in Mississippi.
Known problem areas:
A problem closely associated with pumpage and
lowered water levels which is resulting in salt water
encroachment in some places along the Gulf ttoas
needs close study. Sooner or later authoritative data
will be needed here in order that proper control
measures can be instituted to minimize unwarranted
waste and help maintain artesian water levels so that
water quality can be preserved or improved by sound
Another problem, from the public health stand-
point, is found in the presence of high fluoride con-
e l----------
centration in some underground waters. Very little
is ~known ofthbe areaTextent of this mineral in the

different aquifers. Research is needed on the prob-
lem as it relates to human health in Mississippi.
In the Delta area, the rapidly developing use of
wells to irrigate.-vast-aerage of-land is causing prob-
lesis of lowered water levels in some localities. Data
are needed on possibilities of using.-tTf-ciaT-r-c ge
methods to dispose of surplus surface waters and
store them underground.
The foregoing are only a few of the problems in-
volving underground waters. In looking ahead it
cannot be stressed too strongly that there is need for
a clear, accurate appraisal of all the underground wat-
ers of Mississippi and for the use of these appraisals
in sound development. The State should lose no more
time in expanding its program of underground water


Findings and Conclusions
1. Average annual rainfall, or soil moisture, de-
ficiencies in the state increase from zero inches per
year near the coast to about six inches in the northern
part of the state outside the Delta area. Deficiencies
in the Delta go as high as nine inches per year. (See
Figure III.) This is an index of motstare conservation
and irrigation needs, except that average deficiencies
as reflected on the map do not take into account un-
usual drought periods. Deficiencies in a typically dry
year undoubtedly are much higher.
A very large percent of the precipitation upon
croplands is lost by evaporation. If only one or two
percent of this water could be put to high beneficial
use it would greatly increase the production of crops
and similarly the income from farm products.
2. The major problems of our streams have been,
and will continue-to be, floods and land drainage.
Poj ution is also prevalent with its harmful effects
upon fish and its impairment of water supplies for
other uses. However, increasing use of water for
irrigation, municipal, industrial, and recreational pur-
poses points to the need for water development and
use as of much greater importance in the future in
order to help balance supply and demand.
3. Natural replenishment of our water supplies
takes place through the hydrologic cycle. The heav-
iest precipitation occurs near the coast, decreasing
inland, where it is lowest in the Delta.
Although Mississippi is a water-rich state, the use
of our net supplies of surface and ground water is
very low. Yet shortages in dry years may be respon-
sible for extra costs to users amounting to millions of

4. Stream flow and ground water replenishment
are affected to a substantial degree by evaporation and
transpiration. The latter draw upon atmospheric and
soil moisture, preventing much of the infiltrated water
from going to ground water storage and stream flow.
In a typical dry year natural demand is greater and
supplies are smaller and this has a pronounced effect
stream flow. (See Figure II.)

5. Average monthly rainfall or stream discharge
figures do not reflect true drought conditions, because
much of the supply may come in a short period of
6. The amount of rainfall appearing as stream

flow varies greatly from high to low years. The dif-
ference between the figures may be as much as 100
per cent in some basins. (See page 9.)
7. Stream flows reflect the rainfall pattern to
some extent, but they also reflect local physical con-
ditions of a watershed. And they reflect wet and dry
cyclic tendencies over the years. Years of low stream
discharge occur at about seven or eight year intervals.
8. Charactertistics of watersheds, such as soil
types, degree of slope and erosion, land use, types
and quality of cover, and related factors in large
measure determine water yield, especially in dry sea-
sons. Existing programs for soil and water conser-
vation, fire protection, reforestation, pond or reser-
voir construction, and for help in financing these
practices need to be intensified on more lands through-
out the state. Sound water law could encourage water
users to invest in andapl.y.uch conserafion iimeas-
ures as are needed to their lands and to water re-
The discharge of rivers and streams varies
greatly between the average and minimum flows.
Minimum flows do not afford a dependable source
of supply for expanding needs in many areas, especial-
ly for irrigation and municipal purposes. Flood flows
could afford one source of supply if detenifion and
seasonal storage are provided and means for fair and
equitable division are also made possible under the
law of Mississippi.
Possibilities exist in some places for underground
storage of surplus surface waters. This area of the
water cycle should be explored fully.
Definite rights to water created through invest-
ments in storage reservoirs which are located on well-
defined water courses are not clear under present
Mississippi law.
10. At present, the over-all problem of quantity
and quality supplies to meet demands is most acute
in streams having low flow in the summer months,
in certain of our lakes, and especially where ground
water is not available in sufficient quantities or at
economic depths to supplement surface supplies.
11. Deficiencies can be made up in much of
the coastal and Delta areas by developing and con-
serving surface and ground waters. The remaining
upland areas, comprising about half of the state, are
not as favorably supplied by ground waters. Further-
more, streams in this upland section are highly var-
iable as to discharge in the summer season. However,

in order to meet these deficiencies effectively it will
be necessary or Th-e peop e in Mississippi to bring
about orderly development, wise use, conservation.
and protection of all these water resources as well as
lnd._ This is. a prime object of modernization of water
law,,~d ase it affords 72Linu. al h.ri-A'p iple aai
their government to work together. (See Figure XIX).
-~- ----------ls-I-- -
12. The four major flood detention reservoirs
(Arkabutla, Sardis, Enid, and Grenada) provide flood
control, recreation, and stream flow improvement for
the rivers served. Some 500,000 people utilized the
Sardis Reservoir for recreation in 1954. But as auth-
orized and built, they do not afford water for irriga-
tion use in the immediate reservoir vicinity. However,
improved stream flow below the dams makes irriga-
tion possible in that area for much of the water de-
mand season. (See Figure VI.)
13. The large reservoirs in the head ater streams
of the Yazoo reduce peak discharge about 40 per cent.
They are regulated to empty their flood storage dur-
ing the low flow season. Low flows in these streams
thus may be increased as much as 50 per cent.
14. Many of the streams in the state are polluted
by erosion debris from farm and other lands, and by
municipal and industrial wastes.
15. The Mississippi River is the principal inter-
state stream. The Mississippi, Tombigbee, and Pearl
Rivers, and possibly'others, mayyenl L he sub-
ject of iners te agreements.
16. Ground water supplies..r.ele.ct _seasonal
drought conditions. This may be observed in stream
dischairge"figures, because the non-flood'flows are
supplied by ground water.
More than 85 per cent of the water used in Mis-
sissippi for municipal and industrial snppnlip ad for
irrigation is derived from underground sources. About
98 per cent of the public water supplies in the state
are from wells.
17. Ground water pollution occurs in some areas
where oil-well operations are under way.
18. The principal factor in agricultural expan-
sion is increased use of water in irrigation. This is a
consumptive or dep.leting use as it affects neiglibrs,
and other water users. A prineipal-aeter-in-Muici-
pal, industrial and recreational expansion is also in-
creased use of water;ut ini most cases these make
non-copnsumptive uses. However, under certain con-
ditions of pollution or diversion to non-riparian uses

the effect may be much the same as a consumptive or
stream-depleting use.
19. Irrigation possibilities of the state are esti-
mated from questionnaires to range upwards of 975,-
000 acrel.Actually in a year of normal rainfall, there
wouldbe an adequate supply of surface water for
irrigation most years, if storage and related facilities
were roidecT aiid protected.
20. There is competition for recreation, fishing,
and irrigation uses in some of the natural lakes formed
in the meander belt of the Mississippi River. This
competition may increase as consumptive uses expand,
and competition may spread to other areas.
S21. Although considerable basic data in atmos-
pheric surface and ground water resources are avail-
able, much more is needed in order to provide a
sound basis for the full development of these re-
22. Under existing law, those who own lands
which do not touch our streams and lakes are not en-
tied to streamwater for irrigation, commercial live-
stock, municipal, industrial and related use. How-
ever, their investments and activities are essential to
the economic growth of the state and the stabiity of
its institutions.
23. Those who own lands touching our streams
and lakes are faced with the fact that the law does
not provide a qantate ~ uide inuimes ofshortage
and adequate legal security for i Here
again, their contributionto the welfare of the state
is just as essehTal as liaTo Fnon~ ariaTaliiTn-n rs.
24. Present water laws do not encourage c-
ture and soage o e water in times of lus
ani te-ir use in times of shortage because of the in-
deTiniteness of existing rights in this regard."
J 5 25. No state administrative agncy is authorized
to seek an answer to problems of water rights except
the courts. It is very expensive to resort to court ac-
tion, and often ineffective in meeting future water
neea s or e courts are limited largely to the narrow
issues which con-e-' Tore-'em owTever, ou'r ours
in tthe past havedone a splendid job with the facili-
ties available to them.
26. A system of law whereby all water users
could secure clear and valid ights t"toYefcial
use of water. would- ver- grea. Td-icite fTie 6ordel\
development, use and conservation Qwate, resources.

Water Problem Areas

I l | Minimum soil moisture deficiencies with large surface and
J ground water supplies

Maximum soil moisture deficiencies with maximum surface
water supplies

Moderate soil moisture deficiencies with limited ground
water supplies and variable stream flow

All three are related in that much streamflow from the up-
land area goes into the Delta and coastal areas


/ 1. That the existing water policy of the. state
be enlarged to establish reasonablebeneficial use and
conservation as or elation. If necessary,
sdfot-rtis -beneficiali use and conservation policy
might be established by constitutional provision.
j 2. That a permanent Boardof Water Commis-
sioners be established by the Legislature to administer
fetwater policy of the state, its members selected in
such a manner as to suitably represent the several
geographic areas and major types of water uses in the
state, and to be charged ith the duty.l d-
ing to the Legislature from time to time suitable legis-
latiofi andprogramti ased on the Commission's find-
3. That a set of definitions to be established
which willserve to ,caLfv an to make more speeific
our existing and any new water laws.
4. That an adequate technical staff be provided
for the Board to inake "surveys ai-If investigations of
water supplies, uses, needs and capabilities, as these
Affect water rights and structural improvements.
k 5. That such policies be provided by the Legis-
lature aS will requ-~i t""t &oard to estabish reason-
able heneficial trs- standoar.j afoqr.
uses accorgto and u a iate
4 6. That such exemptions and limitations upon
the jurisdiction or powers of the Board as will p.an-
tain those features of existing water law and usae
~d ueiai table to the conditions..a-
j/ 7. That new laws and procedures be established
as will m cTIabSEiflrI f"'itin. oLestablisheiQ
lawr fit fght-'o-ti-he, guidance in orderly d~ee1o-
mens U emsand lakes, and the acuisi-
tion of specific and new rights to waters (irrespective
of the position of lands). -- ..... ---------

J 8. Thatwater rights be defined so that users
will know they can epen supewtse are
spe c as to time, pace, anamountf use(gallons

Ic i ..c.'r.

per day, inches per acre, or other practicable unit
of measure).
" 9. That procedures be established so that users
can acquire specific new rights to the use ofwater
urni-d-er s nThicTs nii n "ot e vxcet ia -cost tQufbe
userswitT ll notice to all established right holders,
and granted only when the water supply is known to
ben excess Of esTaosNed wful ri-ghts and not con-
trary to the public welfare. ..
4i 10. That such procedures be established as will
encourage capture and storage of water (irrespective
of the position of lands) in periods of excess for use
in periods of shortage and that stream channels may
be used for this and conveyance purposes.
X 11. That such procedures be provided as will re-
quire the Board to reserve water supplies in areas of
surplus for use in later years in areas of shortage,
especially as this concerns municipalities.
X 12. That such procedures be established!_as will
assure coordination of water use activities from both
the quality and quantity standpoints, and pollution
control should be transferred to the Board.

S13. That such procedures be established as will
provide the public, the water users, and the Legisla-
ture with up-to-date and useful information on the
work of the Board and cooperating agencies.
/ 14. That the Board be required to continued
expand existing water resources investigational o-
grams (surface water, atmospheric water and ground
water) since these programs are inadequate at present
to provide the basic data for the Board to discharge
its duties and responsibilities. Further, the Boardi b
authorized to cooperate financially with Federal
7encies authorized to make such investigations.
15. That other state agencies be required to co-
operate with the Board; and that the Board be au-
thorized to cooperate with similar boards in other
states, with state and federal agencies, and with water
user organizations in Mississippi.

j~~01 009(~X?~



Jefferson Davis
Pearl River
* See report

18,600 16

85 8 7
F. Z

18,60841 106
800 0
2,000 0

2,000 9
218,84100 10-12
850 0

1,600 23
400 9
5,600 60
2,030 9
2,000 0

850 37
18,80041 10-12

800 3

4,500 5

1,000 65
3,000 6
2,800 10-12

3,000 1
2,000 0

7,000 65
41,00 2

2,500 0
400 3
9,600 0

1,800 0
1,400 0
1,000 0
2,800 100
3,000 300
1,500 0
2,465 32
3,250 25
2,500 3
15,400 20
8,000 0
4,500 6
933 0
2,400 0
1,200 1
1,502 4
2,000 0
2,500 5
650 100
4,00 10
1,000 0
2,000 0
700 0
4,125 12
1,200 7
2,200 0
10,000 8
1,500 20
1,000 0
8,398 10
1,800 18
960 4
600 0
0 0
3,300 12
2,500 0
25 12
6,000 6
8,000 7
75% 25
750 0
2,500 3
1,200 0
400 0
0 0

25,000 5
2,136,997 1149

20,000 1200 800 12 0 25 5 0
0 1,500 0 10 1,150 30 6 0
0 1,055 2,500 8 10,000 45 6 ?
60 350 1,000 12 4,500 75 7 0
2,000 825 2,000 26 15,000 15 3 0
1,000 30 0 4 4,000 3 6 0
0 1,550 700 9 1,200 24 7-8 250
500 2,000 1,000 9 1,000 20 1 0
0 600 300 0 0 25 5 0
0 1,000 500 15 600 75 7 100
573 327 5,314 16 1,500 20 8 200
0 600 300 16 5,000 58 6 0
0 1,800 7,000 3 750 5 6 0
5,000 6 75-100 3 15,000 6 3 3,000
100 2,000 1,000 8 1,000 25 10 200
500 75 15 3,000 25 8 800
500 837 105 7 5,000 13 6 0
0 500 1,000 26 7,500 125 5 0
0 2,000 0 7 22,400 30 4 0
2,000 50 50 13 600 0 0 0
0 150 0 40 4,000 300 13 0
1,500 900 350 7 5,000 25 5 0
0 56 200 32 Little 25 9 0
35 350 300 10 0 0 0 0
0 3,000 2,500 2 5,000 6 6 900
20,000 3,000 500 10 10,000 25 6 0
10% 5 .01% 3 20% 10 7 2%
200 0 0 2 1,500 3 3 0
100 450 1,000 15 3,500 20 8 100
0 10 200 15 500 100 8 0
0 1,000 100 2 600 5 8 0
200 750 250 3 50 18 8 0
0 1,100 200 13 5,000 25 6 0
0 1,000 500 31 2,000 100 5 3,000
0 3,600 150 7 0 125 4 0
0 1,000 400 10 1,000 35 4 0
60 1,000 2,000 16 7,000 15 5 0
0 800 25 8 200 100 5 0
2,000 1,500 200 20 10,000 75 3 0
750 2,300 200 25 5,000 30 8 0
1,500 500 0 0 15 6 0
8,200 0 0 7 34,020 0 0 0
0 800 150 16 1,040 15 7 0
100 760 1,800 5 4,500 14 6 0
0 3,700 25 4 10,000 3 5 0
500 1,400 1,000 22 3,000 14 9 100
5,000 500 6 4,000 10 4 0
0 3,000 10,000 5 10,000 37 7 0
0 815 223 8 1,000 25 8 0
0 1,050 0 1 40 12 9 0
0 950 2,500 16 750 54 5 0
8 1,502 400 6 1,500 18 7 0
1,700 3,000 0 15 8 500?
50 3,000 1,000 3 6,000 10 4 0
1,000 400 2,000 10 50,000 25 7 0
0 300 200 12 500 35 5 0
0 500 25 7 5,000 35 4 0
0 4,000 200 2 300 50 9 0
0 1,025 200 8 200 26 9 200
2,500 0 0 3 26,280 2 10 5,000
0 1,050 1,250 3 100 9 6 0
0 2,500 100 4 300 25 5 0
200 2 0 1 45,000 1 6 300
100 1,000 1,000 28 50,000 12 4 0
0 1,000 200 8 20,000 1,500 3 15,000
0 200 1,000 6 100,000 6 5 10,000
4,000 71 4,061 3 20,000 20 7 500
1,800 970 25 6 11,000 11 5 0
0 2,100 155 6 2,000 36 4 0
0 1,500 250 15 500 20 7 0
0 170 0 10 2,000 200 6 0
5,000 0 0 3 5,000 15 10 50,000
1,500 1,000 3 500 unknown 0
50 1,500 200 10 2,000
5,000 350 300 9 300 80 8 0
15,000 0 0 2 2,000 6 6 5,000
125 450 200 20 3,000 75 4 0
0 1,500 50 7 150 12 7 0
15,000 600 25,000 5 10,000 20 8 5,000
0 800 50 4 100 15 8 0
0 1,500 200 25 2,000 100 8 0
2,000 2,600 1,500 3 10,000 36 9 0
117,211 93,466 93,083 812 603,630 4,200 100,150

8 8

500 500 25 0 300
800 0 20 0 1,500
3,000 2,800 70 3,000 4
4,000 40 300 0 3
1,000 1,000 85 0 50
4,400 4,000 50 0 300
2,400 1,100 156 150 54
1,500 100 50 0 150
1,000 400 40 0 800
1,300 800 25 0 100
1,700 125 30 300 60
2,000 1,500 30 0 500
2,000 1,900 500 0 2
8,650 8,650 50 15,000 250
2,000 2,000 70 0 20
5,000 5,000 75 0 45
1,000 1,000 30 100 300
1,000 1,100 30 0 30
316 316 20 0 1,100
1,500 1,000 20 0 75
1,200 900 25 0 150

600 600 20-100 Little 200
2,000 1,800 30 0 60
3,400 2,500 30 0 500
10,000 6,000 20 0 100
3,200 2,900 22 .2% 78
850 850 50 0 45
3,000 2,000 55 150 100
2,600 2,600 25 0 700
3,000 2,000 50 0 1,000
600 50 50 0 15
150 150 25 0 3,000
5,000 4,500 80 0 23
3,000 1,000 30 0 60
2,500 2,500 60 0 45
1,500 1,500 70 750 100
800 40 50 0 1,200
2,000 2,000 52 0 30 6
4,000 3,200 50 0 70
2,000 1,500 50 0 1,200
5,000 5,000 30 1,250 250
3,000 2,500 30 0 8
3,500 1,800 20 0 1,500
500 100 25 0 600
1,750 1,400 30 0 1,500
2,500 2,500 100 0 15
4,000 2,000 20 0 2,000
3,000 300 35 0 12,
4,300 2,200 30 0 25
4,000 1,200 60 0 150
750 50 40 0 1,000
4,000 100 25 0 0 00
4,500 500 30 0 50
1,500 1,500 85 0 165
1,600 1,400 40 0 25
2,500 500 45 0 12
2,500 1,000 45 0 950
1,600 400 42 0 1,700
16 16 100 300 0
2,500 1,200 35 0 36
2,000 1,00 1 100 0 500
2,025 2,025 40 0 50
4,500 4,450 30 0 500
3,000 3,000 50 0 5
12,000 1,200 100 0 5
12,500 12,500 32 500 50
6 6 1140 0 1,800 6
2,300 1,600 30 0 680
3,000 1,500 40 0 400
2,000 50 30 0 3
6,000 6,000 30 0 137
3,000 1,000 25 0 1,000
3,200 3,200 100 0 650
700 650 40 0 30
200 200 100 30,000 300
1,250 1,000 20 0 1,250
2,000 1,000 20 0 100
3,000 3,000 60 0 31
4,000 250 50 0 15
2,000 2,000 00 0 0 200
3,700 1,500 160 0 100
224,863 145,218 53,320 29,612




8 50

450 20
60 375
40 100
1500 0
50 75
15 25
10 25
60 300
400 4
5 200
500 0
? 100
200 30
40 75
7% 42
30 50
12 17
5 15
varies 25
120 36
6 30
10 500
70 0
90 100
80 0
3 50
unknown 14
6 25
11,700 10
you tell 200
350 300
75 10
250 100
700 20
200 50
50 0
450 50
20-25 200
75 25
26 3
200 50
60 150
300 120
700 25
200 150
10 12
5 6
350 100
60 25
100 10
400 5
5 100
20 7
0 0
100 15
10 20
70 0
200 800
150 750
very-small 2
1200 0
1000 4
6 0
5 75
200 50
1000 0
40 50
75 0
20 0
50 0
2 100
75 50
500 50
unknown 100
15 48
200 25


Reporting Agency City Use
Agricultural Chemicals, Inc. Greenville 1
Alpine Corporation Gulfport 1
Armstrong Tire & Rubber Co. Natchez 4
Baxter Laboratories Cleveland 2
Biloxi Freezing Co., Biloxi 2
Buckeye Cotton Oil Co., Jackson 1
City Ice & Coal Co., Houston 1
Coast Fisheries Pascagoula
Columbus Air Base Columbus 3
Continental Turp. & Rosin Co., Leland 1
Crosby Forest Products Picayune 5
Crystal Ice Co., Biloxi
Crystal Ice Co., Gulfport
Delta Brick & Tile Co., Indianola 1
DeWeese Lumber C., Philadelphia 2
Denton Manufacturing Co., Shelby 2
Edwards Hotel Jackson 1
Filtrol Corporation Jackson 3
Flintkote Co., Meridian 3
Greenville A. F. Base Greenville 2
Greenville Ice & Coal Co., Greenville 2
Greenville Mills, Inc., Greenville 2
Grenada Industric, Inc., Grenada 2
Gulf Naval Stores Co., Gulfport 5
Heidelberg Hotel Jackson 2
Hercules Powder Co.,* Hattiesburg 1
Home Ice Co., Oxford 1
Home Ice Co., Philadelphia 1
Illinois Central Railroad ** All Counties 37
Imperial Cotton Oil Co., Macon 1
Ingalls Shipbuilding Co., Pascagoula 1
International Paper Co., ** Moss Point 2
International Paper Co., Natchez 21
Jackson Packing Co., Jackson 2
Johns Manville Products Corp., Natchez 3
Keesler Air Force Base Biloxi 10
Knox Glass Bottle Co., Jackson 1
Koppers Co., Inc., Grenada 1
Kosciusko Ice & Coal Co., Kosciusko 1
Leland Ice & Cold Storage Co., Leland 1
LeTourneau Co., Vicksburg 4
Long-Bell Lumber Co., Quitman 1
Marquette Cement Co., Brandon 1
Masonite Corporation Laurel 9
McComb Manufacturing Co., McComb 1
Miss. Chemical Co., Yazoo City 7
Morris Ice Co., Jackson 1
Newton Oil Mill Newton 1
Oldbury Elec. Chem. Co., Columbus 4
Olson (J. A.) Co., Winona 1
Paluxy Asphalt Co., Yazoo City 1
Pearl River Clay Co., Tyler 1
Phillips, (Chas. H.) Co., Gulfport 1
Quitman Ice Co., Quitman 2
Robert E. Lee Hotel Jackson 1
Sharkey County Ice Co., Anguilla 1
Shaw Ice & Coal Co., Shaw 1
Southland Co., Sandersville 2
Thiokol Moss Point 3
Tri-State Brick & Tile Co., Jackson 1
Tupelo Ice & Coal Co., Tupelo 2
U. S. Air Force Vehicle Storage Prairie 3
U. S. Gypsum Co., Greenville 4
Walthall Hotel Jackson 1
Woolfolk State Office Bldg., Jackson 2
Wyandotte Chemical Corp., Blue Mountain 1

Alcorn A & M College Lorman 1
Columbia Training School Columbia Spring
Copiah-Lincoln Jr. College Wesson 1
Ellisville State School Ellisville 2
Holmes Jr. College Goodman 1
Miss. State College Starkville 2
Miss. Vocational School Itta Bena 2
Pearl River Jr. College Poplarville 1
Piney Woods School Piney Woods 2
Southwest Jr. College Summit 1
University of Miss. University 3

State Sanatorium Sanatorium Spring
State Hospital Whitfield 3

Storage in
EL L S Daily Use In Thousands Thousands of
Aban- of Gallons (Ground) Gallons Treat-
doned Max. Min. Aver. Ground Elev. ment
2 2 2
10 5 300
1,920 500 1,600 300 60 Mineral
350 350 350
1 363 7 287 11
100 100 100 0 0
5 300 200 500 10 400 Chlorine
1 600 350 430 50 50
500 200 300 500 150

128 128 128
2 1,000 500 750 1,000 10 Mineral
426 426 426 Chemical
1 185 185 185
600 300 500 100
750 250 500 150 100
956 196 310 500 Chlorine
1 1,000 700 900 400 Lime, Soda
2,500 2,500 2,500
1 576 150 400 10 Permutit
1,500 1,200 1,350 12,000 25
1 393 393 393 8 None
8 2,574 1,716 2,002 550 100
1 1,272 None None Filter
1 144 35 80 None None None
0 904 904 904 3,387
1 60 5 20 25
1,200 100 650 525 Chlorine
2 400 400 400 3,500 75 Chl., Min.
0 52,000 44,000 46,000 4,900 100 Mineral
1 40 60 None
2 1,200 750 1,000 1,125 100 Zeolite
1 4,162 2,011 3,027 2,000 Chlorine
0 50 50 50 175 None
2 150 30 100 100 Filter
1 576 50 240 20 Filter
0 118 118 118 None
3 200 120 130 22 54 None
1 15 7 10 8 None
0 180 180 180 800 105 None
4 4,320 3,240 3,780 300 50 Aeration
1 120 75 100 11 Filter
0 12,500 12,500 12,500 420 None
0 50 10 25 0 0 None
0 4 2 16
0 1,728 864 1,440 0 100 None
10 10 10 55 None
0 1,000 750 750 160 None
No records 1
0 110 35 90 75
0 30 1 10 10
185 185 185 35 15 None
0 130 130 130
118 118 118 None
2 600 400 500 500 None
500 250 375 100
1 2 1 1 None
0 288 144 166 0 0 Filter
2 367 105 236 504 Chlorine
2 1,634 1,634 1,634 165
0 500 250 350
0 840 7 300 12
0 17 1 2,500 None
1 100 75 85 100 24 Chlorine
225 75
0 100 15 40 75 None
0 230 230 230
30 15 24 12
3 1,227 367 682 350 60 None
90 40 78 10 48 None
0 100 75 87 75 Chlorine
35 25 120 100
3 50 30 40 60 10 Chlorine
1 792 405 540 150 300 None
1 350 175 250 140 55 None
1 1,396 993 1,050 100 None
59 109,417 82,241 92,659 31,061 9,974
Not classified as industries by U. S.
Census Bureau.















Miss. Power Co., Bay St. Louis 1 0 7 5 6 0 0 None Surface No
Miss. Power Co., Bay St. Louis 0 1 144 This plant is not in use, but the well is flowing
Miss. Power Co., Bfloxi 4 4 60 30 58 All 0 None Returned to No
Miss. Power Co., Gulfport 1 0 3 1 2 0 0 None No
Miss. Power Co., Gulfport 1 1 144 This plant is not in use, but the well is flowing
Miss. Power Co., Hattiesburg 2 0 290 194 284 117,100 37 Chlorine Surface No
Miss. Power Co., Meridian 5 0 103,600 51,340 99,180 725 40 Phosphate Surface No
TOTALS 14 2 104,248 51,570 99,530 117,100 725 77
Miss. Power & Light Co., Cleveland 2 0 1,440 600 766 9,360 2,000,000 100 Zeolite Leaching Yes
Miss. Power & Light Co., Jackson 6 0 3,000 1,400 2,200 100 Chlorine Surface Yes
Miss. Power & Light Co., Natchez 4 0 1,650 1,000 1,300 175 100 Lime-Alum Surface Yes
TOTALS 12 0 6,090 3,000 4,266 9,360 2,000,175 300
GRAND TOTALS 234 61 219,755 136,811 196,457 175,078 2,031,951 10,361
*Hercules Powder Co.- uses 6,426,000 gals. surface water daily.
** Illinois Central RR uses 592,000 gals. surface dater daily
** International Paper Co. (Mos Point) uses 41,600,000 gals. surface water daily

Records Is Present
Kept Supply Adequate
No Yes
No Yes
Yes Yes

Yes Yes
No Yes
Yes Yes
No Yes
No Yes

No Yes
No Yes
No Yes
Yes Yes
Yes Yes
Yes Yes
No Yes
No Yes
No Yes
No Yes
No Yes
Yes Yes
No Yes
No Yes
No Yes
No Yes
No Yes
Yes Yes
Yes Yes
No Yes
Yes Yes
Yes Yes
Yes Yes
No Yes
No Yes
Yes Yes
No Yes
No Yes
No Yes
Yes Yes
No Yes
Yes Yes
No Yes
No Yes
No Yes
Yes Yes
No Yes
Yes Yes
No Yes
No Yes
No Yes
Yes Yes
No Yes
No Yes
No Yes
No Yes
Yes Yes
No Yes
No Yes
Yes Yes
No Yes

No Yes
No Yes
No Yes
No Yes
No Yes
Yes Yes
No Yes
No Yes
No Yes
Yes Yes

No Yes
Yes Yes

Planned Increase
Thousand Gallons
Ground Surface

Yes 1,440 95,040

Yes 4,680

1,440 99,720

_ ~111~

Popu- No. W e ll s Number Number Daily Use In Thousands of Storage In Thou- TREATMENT Is Present
lation of In Aban- of Without Gallons sands of Gallons Chlori- Fluori- Purifi- System
Municipality 1950 Ind Use doned Meters Meters Maximum Minimum Average Ground Elevated nation dation Mineral cation Adequate

Aberdeen 5,290 7 4
Ackerman 1,463 4 2
Alligator* 214 1
Amory 4,990 6 1
Anguilla 601 1
Arcola* 413 1
Arkabutla 207
Artesia* 594 1
Ashland 328 1 1
Baldwyn 1,568 3 2
Bassfield* 370 1
Batesville* 2,463 2
Bay Springs 1,302 2 2
Bay St. Louis 4,621 6
Bear Town* 2,002
Beauregard* 231
Belmont* 814 2
Belzoni* 4,017 3 2
Benoit 414 2 1
Bentonia* 496 1
Beulah* 342 2 1
Big Creek* 147
Biloxi 37,425 9 6
Blodgett 5
Blue Mountain* 875 3
Blue Springs* 125 5
Bolton 741 1
Booneville 3,295 3 2
Boyle 799 1
Brandon* 1,827 2
Braxton* 206
Brookhaven 7,801 5 5
Brooksville* 819 1
Bruce 1,719 1
Bude* 1,195 1
Byhalia 581 1 2
Caledonia* 252
Calhoun City 1,319 3 2
Canton 7,048 3 3
Carrollton* 475 1
Carthage* 1,925 2
Cary* 390
Centreville 2,025 2
Charleston 2,629 4 2
Chunky* 258
Clarksdale 16,589 3 5
Cleveland 6,747 7 3
Clinton 2,255 2
Coffeeville* 739 3
Coldwater* 949 3
Collins* 1,293 1
Columbia* 6,124 3
Columbus 17,172 2
Como* 703 2
Corinth 9,785 4
Courtland* 275
Crawford* 374
Crenshaw* 740 1 1
Crosby 1,152 3
Crowder* 476 5
Cruger 494 2
Crystal Springs* 3,676 3
Decatur 1,225 1 1
DeKalb 953
Dennis 158
Derma* 494 In
D'Iberville 1,429
D'Lo* 516 2
Doddsville 201 3
Drew 1,681 2
Duck Hill* 537 3
Duncan 436 1
Durant 2,311 1
East Side* 1,215
Ebenezer* 95
Ecru* 494
Eden* 306 1
Edwards* 1,002 2
Ellisville* 3,579 3
Enid* 94 1
Enterprise* 691
Ethel* 723 1

1 1,350
6 1,407
1 30



















1 0



750 378 420
200 200 24
17 10
200 650 291 475 700
150 100 50 50
77 52
144 225 90 150 34
10 20 35
100 100
100 230 166
1,750 2,400 1,000 1,500
535 358
60 30 45
43 10
800 8,000 1,400
Too small to estimate
175 131 60
114 100 75 85
284 425 330 35
84 100 100 11
500 160 40
600 1,500 908 1,000
132 75 40
90 100 120
150 125
1,410 500 750 225
110 50
225 100
66 60 62
188 236 214 225 100
0 4,200 2,150
75 2,000 1,250 1,500 300
0 250 225 240 100
185 90 750
1,200 118 345
2,000, 1,000 200
0 3,500 1,750 2,500 600
150 35
584 1,600 840 1,000 300
135 75 50 8
200 119

1 270 30 90 65
gs 200 125 200 100 110
.al wells 43
0 50 40
0 642 150 400 150 250
80 70
0 0 38
2 800 0 175 150
1 0 144 25
200 50
125 112
50 25 60
1 425 0 150

60 Yes

100 Yes
50 Yes
40 Yes

27 Yes

55 No ne
75 No ne

100 Yes



52 Yes
80 Yes

500 Yes
50 Yes


50 Yes
210 Yes


140 Yes
50 Yes

100 Yes
200 Yes

250 Yes
1,100 Yes Yes
200 Yes



50 Yes
70 50

3 Yes
100 100

125 100 Yes

Lime No
Lime No

Soda-ash No

Lime Yes








Aeration Yes
Lime-Alum Yes
Aeration No

Aeration Yes
Lime Yes



50 65

100 100

Popu- No. W e ll s Number Number Daily Use In Thousands of Storage In Thou- TREATMENT Is Present
lation of In Aban- of Without Gallons sands of Gallons Chlori- Fluori- Purifi- System
Municipality 1950 Ind Use doned Meters Meters Maximum Minimum Average Ground Elevated nation dation Mineral cation Adequate
Fayette 1,498 1 2 525 0 143 94 120 90 Yes Lime Yes
Flora* 655 1 58 30 30 Yes
Florence 313 1 0 130 20 17 15 No
Flowood Est. 667 3 5 0 1,000 500 Yes
Forest 2,874 2 375 60 150 120 140 150 100 Yes Yes Yes
French Camp* 162 15
Friars Point 916 2 0 256 168 120 50 30 Yes
Fulton 1,343 3 2 2 345 100 434 240 100 90 Yes Yes Yes No
Gallman* 170 15
Gattman* 150 13
Georgetown* 327 1 0 0 26 30 No
Glendora* 178 5 0 16 No
Gloster 1,468 2 2 0 300 100 187 75 84 131 50 Yes Lime Aeration Yes
Golden* 206 18
Goodman* 878 1 1 0 75 80 No
Greenville 29,936 3 5 8,600 0 6,950 4,125 300 Yes No
Greenwood 18,061 5 20 2 5,000 29 6,000 3,843 1,000 100 Yes Yes
Grenada 7,388 1 4 2,285 1,400 1,000 95 600 Yes Yes
Gulfport 22,659 7 7 1 6,350 10,000 6,000 8,000 3,000 500 Yes Yes
Gunnison* 453 1 180 40 7 30 Yes
Guntown* 299 No water system 26
Hattiesburg 29,474 5 13 0 8,581 0 5,000 3,500 5,000 Yes Aeration No
Hazlehurst 3,397 5 2 1 825 25 600 216 400 210 75 Aeration No
Heidelberg* 863 2 1 75 50 Yes
Hermanville* 255 22
Hernando* 1,206 1 2 1 321 150 120 60 Aeration Yes
Hickory 614 2 1 0 130 20 75 40 83 Yes Yes
Hickory Flat* 345 30
Holcomb* 229 20
Hollandale* 2,346 2 2 576
Holly Springs 3,276 4 3 850 70 453 200 367 150 100 Yes Aeration Yes
Houlka* 545 1 2 45 11 Yes
Houston 1,664 5 2 1 460 262 500 350 425 150 75 Yes Yes
Indianola 4,369 6 4 1 1,455 1 400 260 250 Yes No
Inverness 1,010 1 2 328 98 300 166 225 4 40 Yes Yes
Isola 450 1 114 40 50 Yes
Itta Bena 1,725 1 3 2 500 150 360 60 60 Yes
luka 1,527 1 1 375 29 95 50 65 70 No
Jackson 98,271 11 River 25,200 0 21,500 8.070 10,170 1,600 2,000 Yes Chemicals Yes
Jonestown* 741 2 66 50 Yes Yes
Kilmichael* 511 1 45 45 Yes Yes
Kosciusko* 6,753 3 666 399 532 125 100 Yes
Kossuth* 242 22
Kreole* 1,106 97
Lake* 345 1 80 0 40 30 ,Aeration Yes
Lambert* 1,023 1 400 75 50 Yes
Landon* 1,853 163
Laurel 25,038 3 7 3 5,300 700 4,000 625 500 Yes
Leakesville* 893 1 78 50 Yes
Learned* 126 14
Leland 4,736 2 3 0 100 1,000 417 200 Yes Yes
Lena* 353 29
Lexington 3,198 1 2 0 750 0 250 167 200 285 100 Yes Yes
Liberty 683 2 1 170 30 39 55 Yes
Long Beach 2,703 2 992 237 225 No
Louin 478 1 0 48 10 7 6 8 No
Louise* 479 1 1 40 5 10 Yes
Louisville* 5,282 3 1,100 400 250 50 Yes Yes
Lucedale* 1,631 1 Spring 460 140 45 Yes
Lula 488 1 1 0 126 75 65 50 Yes
Lumberton* 1,803 1 11 214 160 150 85 Yes
Lyon* 386 1 0 100 35 35 No
McComb* 10,401 3 1,000 750 100 Yes
McCoolo 305 26
Maben 616 1 135 12 50 65 Yes
Macon 2,241 2 2 200 100 Yes
Madison* 540 47
Magee* 1,738 1 Spring 495 55 500 300 400 100 Yes
Magnolia 1,984 7 3 2 8 498 300 80 350 Yes Yes
Mantachee* 178 16
Mantee* 189 17
Marks 2,209 1 1 85 600 325 225 40 Yes
Mathiston* 584 1 2 50 2 50 Yes
Meadville 524 2 1 150 25 61 55 Yes Lime Yes
Mendenhall* 1,539 2 375 125 176 100 100 Yes
Meridian 41,893 2 2 10,511 0 7,750 3,500 5,500 1,000 5,500 Yes Yes Yes No
Merigold* 682 1 50 130 25 Yes
Mill Town* 1,796 158
Mississippi City* 3,400 299
Mize* 430 35
Monticello* 1,382 2 2 1 0 132 50 Yes
Montrose* 222 17
Moorhead* 1,749 1 310 200 150 175 100 100 Yes
Morton 1,664 6 2 20 450 1,500 750 100 80 Yes No

Popu- No. W e lls Number Number Daily Use In Thousands of Storage In Thou- TREATMENT Is Present
lation of In Aban- of Without Gallons sands of Gallons Chlori- Fluori- Purifi- System
Municipality 1950 Ind Use doned Meters Meters Maximum Minimum Average Ground Elevated nation nation Mineral cation Adequate
Moss Point 3,782 3 1,000 600 800 300 50 Yes
Mound Bayou* 1,328 116
Mt. Olive 827 1 254 0 65 60 30 Yes Yes
Myrtle* 331 75 Individual wells 29 Yes
Natchez 22,740 15 7 5,307 3,200 2,000 2,500 720 1,000 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Nettleton 1,207 1 270 0 120 '75 60 Lime Yes
New Albany 3,683 4 3 1,364 0 700 500 200 100 Yes
New Augusta* Est. 440 39
New Hebron* 303 26
Newton* 2,912 3 2 1 600 115 300 250 75 Yes Yes
North Carrollton 506 1 140 50 50 Yes
Noxapater* 615 54
Oakland 551 1 2 280 70 67 8 30 Yes
Oakvale* 136 12
Ocean Springs 3,058 4 1 270 100 50 Yes
Okolona 2,167 3 3 662 700 190 150 110 Yes Yes
Olive Branch 534 1 2 30 155 200 36 No
Osyka 724 2 1 1 0 200 110 80 100 40 Yes
Ovett* 357 31
Oxford 3,956 3 2 1 1,350 0 900 220 460 200 65 Areation No
Pace* 422 1 38 5 1 Yes
Pachuta* 273 24
Paden* 158 12
Pascagoula 10,805 5 1 1,291 700 995 575 Yes
Pass Christian 3,383 2 5 6 50 900 2,225 125 75 Yes Yes
Pelahatchie* 867 1 2 1 252 75 Yes
Petal* 2,148 189
Philadelphia 4,472 7 3 1 1,400 35 800 500 Yes Yes No
Picayune 6,707 4 17 4 830 460 590 100 Yes
Pickens* 638 1 2 60 60 40 Yes
Pinola* 143 12
Pittsboro 246 1 0 70 120 4 Yes
Plantersville 470 41
Pontotoc* 1,596 3 1 560 140 300 110 100 Yes
Pope* 246 19
Poplarville 1,852 2 2 409 85 200 75 40 100 Yes Yes
Port Gibson* 2,920 2 300 87 80 Yes
Potts Camp* 432 2 35 20 25 Yes
Prairie* 654 58
Prentiss 1,212 4 3 500 200 106 175 Yes
Purvis 1,270 4 1 200 175 160 75 Yes
Quitman 1,817 6 2 1 539 28 185 160 75 60 Yes Yes
Raleigh* 580 1 160 20 50 75 Yes
Randolph* 243 21
Raymond* 1,259 2 100 100 117 37 Yes
Richton 1,158 2 0 3,000 190 No
Ridgeland* 526 1 2 165 46 Yes
Rienzi* 468 1 70 50 Yes
Ripley 2,383 3 2 1 818 700 65 75 Yes
Rolling Fork 1,229 1 2 100 60 50 Yes
Rome* 189 15
Rosedale* 2,197 2 300 100 150 35 25 Yes
Roxie* 521 45
Ruleville* 1,521 2 0 600 0 134 100 Yes
Sallis* 228 18
Saltillo* 501 44
Sandersville* 681 Individual wells 60
Sardis 1,913 1 2 1 0 550 500. 300 100 60 Yes Aeration Lime No
Sartartia* 105 9
Scooba 734 2 1 117 85 85 80 25 Yes
Sebastopol* 330 29
Seminary* 345 31
Senatobia 2,108 5 2 2 650 100 400 250 100 100 Yes Lime Aeration Yes
Shannon* 520 44
Shaw* 1,892 2 3 700 176 Yes
Shelby* 2,148 3 300 100 225 150 50 Yes
Sherman* 386 34
Shubuta 782 1 1 115 5 50 20 30 55 No
Shuqualak 714 1 1 1 189 12 54 35 Yes
Sidon* 361 31
Silver City* 381 33
Silver Creek* 275 Individual wells 24
Slate Springs* 134 12
Sledge* 383 30
Smithville* 419 35
Soso* 171 15
Starkville 7,107 1 3 1 1,750 150 1,000 900 300 60 Yes
State Line* 492 No city water works 43
Stewart* 311 27
Stonewall* 1,015 89
Sturgis 402 1 5 100 25 5 Yes
Summit* 1,558 2 189 6 90 75 100 Yes


Popu- No. W e s Number Number Daily Use In Thousands of Storage In Thou- TREATMENT Is Present
nation of In Aban- of Without Gallons sands of Gallons Chlori- Fluori- Purifi- System
Municipality 1950 Ind Use doned Meters Meters Maximum Minimum Average Ground Elevated nation dation Mineral cation Adequate

Sumner* 550 2 225 100 45 75
Sumrall 853 1 2 150 1 30
Sunflower* 639 2 120 55 150 75
Sylvarena* 112 10
Taylor* 125 10
Taylorsville 1,116 2 200 75 100 50 5 55 Yes
Tchula 907 2 290 106 150 100
Terry 497 2 165 235 25 Yes
Tillatoba* 127 11
Tishomingo* 335 34
Toccopola* 262 23
Tunica* 1,354 1 1 365 85 119 100 75
Tupelo 11,527 14 6 2 3,500 2,225 1,225 1,725 230 100
Tutwiler 939 1 215 25 200 100 100
Tylertown 1,331 2 215 35 120 120 40
Union* 1,559 2 500 137 75 50 Yes
Utica 824 1 2 254 50 117 94 105 50 50 Yes
Vaiden 583 1 1 150 46 100 28 50 100 Yes
Vardaman* 686 60 25
Verona 589 1 0 170 12 700 500 600 50
Vicksburg 27,948 1 9 7,000 500 11,500 9,000 8,000 500 300 Yes
Walnut* 481 1 6 100 42 40
Walnut Grove* 517 45
Walthall* 149 13
Water Valley 3,213 3 3 100 1,050 1,200 328 5,000 120
Waveland 793 4 3 620 53 140
Waynesboro 3,442 3 3 200 100
Weathersby* 145 1 3 12 2
Webb 680 2 175 125 100 50 Yes
Weir 570 1 100 30 40 32 75 Yes
Wesson* 1,235 5 Springs 50 80 50
West 354 1 0 73 11 50 Yes
West Point* 6,432 2 1,200 100 700 360
Wiggins 1,436 4 2 1 10 194 350 250 110 100
Winona 3,441 9 2 1,100 0 462 375 670 Yes
Winstonville* 322 28
Woodland* 133 12
Woodville 1,609 5 2 1 552 67 300 200 200 60 Yes
Yazoo City 9,746 8 8 4 2,571 0 2,250 1.500 1,875 300 350 Yes
TOTALS 793,994 284 544 128 160,101 21,558 123,669 42,777 111,351 35,242 25,331 Yes
Springs 11
Rivers 2
*-Indicates information obtained from other sources; no report or incomplete report


Yes No

Lime Filters Yes
Soda-ash No
Lime Yes Yes
Yes Yes Yes

Yes No

Filter Yes

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