SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER CITY, La. (KSLA) - Groundwater levels are rising in north Bossier Parish — and leaders are trying to figure out the best way to handle it as the parish continues to grow.
“I believe this area is going to continue seeing this issue,” said Parish Engineer Butch Ford. “As long as we have an uncontrolled Red River, where the river can stay high for long periods of time, I believe we’re going to have this groundwater issue."
So the police jury recently approved to partner up with Louisiana State University Shreveport to help with this problem.
The university will conduct a five year study that will monitor the rising groundwater levels in north Bossier Parish.
LSUS houses the Red River Watershed Management Institute that has spent over ten years working on groundwater resources in Northwest Louisiana. Researchers with the school recently conducted a similar study with Caddo Parish to monitor their groundwater levels.
Ford says the total project will cost around $200,000. Money will go towards purchasing and installing 12 wells in areas of concern in the parish.
LSUS will also receive $12,000 over the next four years to purchase equipment and monitor the groundwater levels in these wells.
“Because of their expertise, I believe we’re saving money,” Ford said. “We’ve already made steps to save some funds in the way we’re going to monitor it, and so they bring a lot of expertise to the table.”
Amanda Lewis is the Director of Sponsored Research and Technology Transfer at LSUS, and says they’ll be able to collect and learn more information about rain and river levels.
“We’ll have some good information, and then we’re hoping that by the end of the five (years) we’ll have trends that we can start to predict what’s going to happen, and that will help them make decisions as a far as infrastructure placement.”
At the end of the five years the university will be able to present their study to Bossier Parish leaders that will help them answer questions about development and infrastructure security in the future.
Lewis says this study is not only a way for them to help the parish, but it’s also a chance for students to get hands on experience out in the field.
“It’s a good opportunity for students to train locally,” she said. “They’re getting the education that goes along with it. They’re learning about the problem in the classroom, and then seeing it firsthand out in the field using what they’ve learned.”
Ford says they have hired a contractor to install the wells as well as surveyor for this study. He anticipates all the wells being installed so that the university can begin its study by Sept. 30.