Madison County Soil Conservation District 

Serving to Conserve Madison County's Soil & Related Natural Resources Since 1941

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Water is one of our most vital natural resources. 70% of the earth's surface is covered with water. Our bodies are made up of two thirds water. Without clean water, under the best conditions, we would only live a few days. The USGS website has an abundant amount of informative and interesting data on water. Anyone that is interested in learning all about water should visit and explore the USGS web page.


To view an interesting PDF illustration depicting how much water is in the world and the sources of the world's water as it relates to the size of Tennessee click here.  


On average Madison County receives over 50 inches of precipitation each year. Most of it is in the form of rain with only an inch or two of frozen precipitation on average each year. Our rainfall is fairly well distributed, but varies greatly during the growing season from year to year. Nearly 60 percent of the annual amount falls during the winter and spring. Local showers and thundershowers are most frequent in summer, with them occurring about 8 days each month. On a yearly basis, the average number of days with thunderstorms is about 55. The lightest precipitation occurs in the fall and is brought on by the maximum occurrence of rain-suppressing, slow moving high pressure systems. During the warm season, an average of one or more dry spells occur each year and a more serious drought can be expected about once every 6 or 7 years. On the other hand there are periods of excessive rainfall. Annual free-water evaporation, such as that from shallow lakes and farm ponds, averages 39 inches, which is 12 inches less than the average annual precipitation.


Storm runoff of Madison County drains into one of three major tributaries from one of three major watersheds. The Middle Fork of the Forked Deer River drains some 88,000 acres across north Madison County. The South Fork of the Forked Deer River drains some 215,000 acres across central Madison County, and the Hatchie River drains some 55,000 acres across south Madison County. All three rivers drain northward and westward into the Mississippi River. In all total there are approximately 840 miles of streams in Madison County. The Forked deer Rivers were channelized in the early 1900s making them more or less drainage canals. The Hatchie River was never channelized and is known as a natural rivers, one of the only major river not channelized in West Tennessee. Although 55,000 acres of Madison County drain into tributaries of the Hatchie River, only a few feet of the River passes through Madison County's extreme southwest corner.


Beneath the surface there are groundwater aquifers from which most of Madison County's water for drinking, manufacturing and cleaning come. Our ground water comes from the Mississippi Embayment Aquifer a large  unconsolidated and semi consolidated sand and gravel aquifer that consists of several aquifers each up to 400 feet thick separated by clay layers which altogether extends thousands of feet below the surface.  Tennessee assigned the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation the Division of Water Supply responsibility to conduct a biennial analysis of the state's water quality and produce a report as a provision of the Clean Water Act 305(d). 







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    Madison County Soil Conservation District    -    313 North Parkway    -   Jackson, Tennessee 38305   -  (731) 668-1544 ext. 3   -   FAX: 1-855-584-5847