Mississippi River Valley Alluvial aquifer continues to lose water

by George Jared ([email protected]) 1,103 views 

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Division (NRD) has released the 2022 Arkansas Groundwater Protection and Management Report. This report provides a summary of the groundwater monitoring efforts, current water levels, NRD protection and conservation programs, and water use reporting during the 2022 calendar year.

This report focuses exclusively on the Mississippi River Valley Alluvial and Sparta aquifers. Based on estimated water use, pumping rates continue to exceed generalized sustainable yield estimates in both aquifers. As a result, water-level declines have been observed and are expected to continue in certain areas of the state. The state’s groundwater systems will continue to be observed by the department and its partners.

One of those areas of decline will be Northeast Arkansas and the entire eastern section of the state. The MRVA aquifer is the primary water source throughout the Arkansas Delta where most of the state’s row crops and rice paddies are grown.

“The Groundwater Protection and Management Report plays an essential role in monitoring one of Arkansas’s most important resources—groundwater,” said NRD Director Chris Colclasure. “In partnership with other government agencies, conservation districts, organizations, groups, and citizens, the NRD will continue to promote conservation and the conjunctive use of ground and surface water at rates that are sustainable for current and future generations of Arkansans.”

This year, the NRD developed an interactive story map version of the Groundwater Protection and Management Report that allows the user to look at the maps in greater detail.