Fayette County, Tennessee
CAESER has been conducting recharge research at the Pinecrest Conference and Retreat Center in Fayette County for the past 15 years, focusing on avenues and rates of recharge to the Memphis aquifer. The answers have not come easy because proper analysis required drilling of wells, installing of a weather station, measuring soil moisture, and stream gaging, and several years of monitoring the results and modeling the data acquired.
The results show, quite astonishingly, that little rainfall percolates to the Memphis aquifer from upland surfaces, but rather most of the recharge comes from water flowing down gullies in the hillslope, especially during the wetter times of the year. Such results are critical for guiding development in the recharge area of the Memphis aquifer and evaluating the sustainability of our groundwater resources.