Since its founding, the Jones Center at Ichauway has conducted detailed studies of the ecology and hydrology of the lower Flint River basin. Periods of water scarcity became common in the region beginning in the 1970s with the expansion of center-pivot irrigation, which greatly increased human use of water in the region. In the past two decades, a warming climate has exacerbated this increase in human demand for water and placed additional stresses on aquatic ecosystems of the region.
Increased demands combined with periodic droughts will likely have unintended negative consequences for aquatic biota, ecological services, and human health. Our program addresses three fundamental issues associated with water resources in the region:
We address these questions with detailed studies within three thematic areas: