Although more on-farm storage ponds have been constructed in recent years to mitigate groundwater resources depletion in Mississippi, little effort has been devoted to estimating the ratio of on-farm water storage pond size to irrigated crop land based on pond metrics and its hydrogeological conditions. In this study, two simulation scenarios were chosen to determine such a ratio as well as to investigate pond hydrological processes using a Structural Thinking, Experimental Learning Laboratory with Animation (STELLA) model, one scenario with and the other without using pond water for irrigation for a typical pond that represented the average conditions in East Mississippi. Simulation results showed that pond water level changed moderately for conditions without using its water for irrigation, whereas pond water level changed dramatically for conditions with using its water for irrigation. A reasonable ratio of pond size to irrigated soybeans land was 1:18 if the irrigation rate was 2.54 cm/d (or 1 inch/d) and the low limit of the pond water level was drawn to near zero (0.08 m). For the ratio of 1:18, our simulations further revealed that a 1-ha soybeans land could save about 542 m3 groundwater each year. This study suggests that the STELLA model is a useful tool for estimating the ratio of pond size to irrigated crop land.

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