IMMEDIATE AND LONG TERM THREATS TO WATER RESOURCE AVAILABILITY AT FELSENTHAL NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
We are currently conducting WRIAs for the Southeast region based on inventory data and identifying and providing recommendations to address perceived threats, needs, or concerns (immediate and long-term) on the refuge related to water resources for a subset of refuges. Information is being compiled from publicly available reports (e.g., published research reports), databases (e.g., websites maintained by government agencies), and geospatial datasets from federal, state, and local sources. The research presented here involves the assessment of one of the refuge sites in the southeastern region of the USFWS. Felsenthal NWR is located in southern Arkansas and is a part of the Lower Ouachita-Bayou De Loutre watershed. Recently, over-pumping in the area has caused widespread groundwater level declines. Global climate change also poses a threat to the water resources at Felsenthal NWR. There is also an increased statistical likelihood of extreme precipitation events in the area. We examined the change in current and projected water resources using an integrated approach involving field data, satellite remote sensing, existing inventories, and statistical analyses. Results highlight the threat and impact of diminishing water resources as current climate projections project milder winters and hotter and dryer summers.