Counties seek acquifer help

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Some conservation districts in northeastern Arkansas are seeking critical groundwater area designations because water in two major aquifers is being depleted.

The district's boards have asked the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission to approve the designation for the western portions of their counties.

Crystal Phelps, an attorney with the commission, says Clay, Craighead, Cross, Greene and Poinsett counties have submitted formal petitions and St. Francis County plans to.

Commission data indicates that groundwater from the aquifers has been withdrawn at unsustainably high rates for more than a decade.

A critical groundwater designation encourages local officials to develop a groundwater action plan, provides state tax incentives for measures to conserve groundwater and prioritizes the region for federal assistance.

Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com

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