Water Data for the Ross Barnett Reservoir

Visit website for up-to-date data charts.
Soil Testing

Testing your soil can help you save money. You can spend hundreds of dollars buying fertilizer that you might not even need! And, it only costs $6 to test your soil. All you have to do is collect samples from several locations in your yard and bring them to your local extension office.

For more on how to take your samples, click here.

Hinds County Extension Office
Tel: 601-372-1424

Madison County Extension Office
Tel: 601-859-3842

Rankin County Extension Office
Tel: 601-825-1461




The Ross Barnett Reservoir serves the tri-county area around Jackson, MS, and is designed to provide drinking water, offer recreational areas, and support aquatic life (fish, birds, insects, plants, etc.). While most people in the area appreciate the many benefits of the Reservoir, they do not understand the threats to its health.

CraneYou have been hired to work for the Ross Barnett Reservoir Initiative to study the issues surrounding use of the Reservoir area. Before you can begin your work, you need to be fully trained in your area of specialization. Together with others in your area of specialization, you will conduct experiments and investigations into one of six major issues affecting the quality of the drinking water for these three counties. You will be the only specialist on your team with your special knowledge, so you need to work hard to learn your material. Your team is relying on you for this information!

Using your knowledge
Once your team is trained, you are ready to tackle the CHALLENGE!
algae_000YOUR TASK
Your team’s task is to study the problems and benefits of living in the Ross Barnett Reservior. To do this, you will need to become Expert Specialists in specific areas of study. The Expert Specialists are:

– Sedimentation Specialist
– Run-off Specialist
– Litter and Recreation Specialist
– Invasive Species Specialist
– Nutrient Specialist
– Pesticide Specialist

geeseOnce everyone on your team has passed the Environmental Expert exam, your team is ready for THE CHALLENGE!!!
To help you gain your Specialist’s certificate, you will work with other people who are in your same Expert area. Click on your Specialty link below for your assignments.

Read and follow the instructions on your page. You will read articles from the Internet, conduct experiments in your classroom, play games, and take a test on your Specialty area. When you pass your test, you will return to your team and teach them all about your field and you will learn about everyone else’s Specialty areas.

Once everyone on your team has passed their Environmental Expert exam, you are ready for THE CHALLENGE!!!
Sedimentation Specialist
Reduce and control sediment that comes from stormwater.

Run-off Specialist
Reduce and control nutrients, which can lead to increased algae growth and a reduction in fish populations.

Pesticide Specialist
Reduce pesticides transported into the water.

Litter and Recreation Specialist
Reduce litter / trash dumping in and around the Reservoir and its shoreline.

Invasive Species Specialist
Reduce and control invasive species in the Reservoir and its tributaries.

Bacteria and Disease Specialist
Reduce and control bacteria and other disease-causing agents entering the Reservoir.
As a team, you will select one challenge from the list below. Working together, you will develop a solution to the challenge and prepare a professional presentation of your results.

+ Technical Team Problem — This problem requires the 6 team members to collaborate on a local water quality issue to devise a solution that is scientifically sound. Students will present to judges orally and in written format.

+ Media Team Problem — This problem requires the 6 team members to collaborate on a local public service ad campaign. Students will present to judges orally and in written format.

+ Scenario Writing — Team members or individuals will write a scenario regarding the Ross Barnett Reservoir that will inform and intrigue the reader. This scenario must have a futuristic orientation.

ALL teams participating in the WATERFEST challenge will face one additional challenge the day of the festival. Each team will be presented with a water quality issue problem and be given 60 minutes to scientifically evaluate the issue and present a solution.

– $25 for each student in a six-student team
– $100 for the teacher of the winning group (to use in the classroom)
– Traveling trophy for winning school

TEACHER UNIT PLAN – Download the “REZonate!” Unit Plan

Introductory Activities
Who Polluted the River?
Introductory Power Point
Notes for Introductory Power Point
Building a Watershed Model
Teacher background information for Watershed Model

Supplementary Handouts
Rival for Survival game board – Invasive Species
Rival for Survival game – Invasive Species
Freyer Model – Litter

Unit Test – Specialist Team Tests
Challenge Problems

All are available in the teacher’s Unit Plan


Barnett Reservoir Foundation
Bureau of Land Management
City of Jackson
City of Ridgeland
Gator Bait
Hinds County Soil and Water Conservation District
Joe Mac Hudspeth
Keep the Reservoir Beautiful
Keep Mississippi Beautiful
MS Dept of Agriculture and Commerce
MS Dept of Environmental Quality
MS Dept of Health
MS Dept of Transportation
MS Dept of Wildlife and Fisheries
MS Development Authority
MS Emergency Management Agency
MS Farm Bureau Federation
MS Forestry Commission
MS Museum of Natural Science
MS Soil and Water Conservation Commission
MS Urban Forest Council
MS Wildlife Federation
Pearl River Valley Water Supply District
Rankin County Soil and Water Conservation District
Reservoir YMCA
The Nature Conservancy
US Army Corps of Engineers
US Geological Survey
USDA Forest Service
USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service
USDA Rural Development



Timberlake Campground
Visit | Download Brochure

Timberlake Campground boasts of being one of the finest recreational destinations in the Southeast. Some of the many assets found at Timberlake include a recreation building with TV room, laundry, outdoor tennis courts, playground, swimming pool, boat launch.
Goshen Springs
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Goshen Springs is the place to cast away your cares. Fish from a boat or the shore and catch bass, perch, or giant catfish. Located up-river along the “Rez” with easy access from the Natchez Trace, it is one of the hottest locations for fishing tournaments.
Coal Bluff
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With breathtaking views, Coal Bluff campground invites you to become one of the thousands of families and sportsmen who enjoy these fun-filled shores.
Leake County Water Park
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Let your imagination take flight with the prefect weekend getaway at Leake County Water Park. You can cast your rod right off the river pier or take a splash in the pool. There’s something for everyone — a trail, playground, boat ramp, big covered pavilion, picnic tables, grills, comfort station and a bathhouse.
Low Head Dam
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For those who fancy themselves as rugged campers, Low Head Dam offers a true connection to nature and the great outdoors.


Multi-use Trails – View Map
Disc Golf – View Map
Old Trace – View Map
Lakeshore – View Map
Pelahatchie Shore – View Map
Browns Landing – View Map