By Ronnie Weston| November 9, 2012 at 12:35 PM CST - Updated June 15 at 12:50 PM
LITTLE ROCK (AGFC) – The Arkansas Natural Resources Commission will hold a series of public meetings designed to provide information about the Arkansas Water Plan. The meetings will be held throughout the state beginning Nov. 13 in Fayetteville. Three additional meetings will be held in Jonesboro, Little Rock and El Dorado.
The Arkansas Water Plan will chart a path forward for the wise and efficient use, management, and development of the state's water resources.
ANRC needs the input from all Arkansans, various water use sectors, and political and business leaders to ensure a successful update to the Arkansas Water Plan by November 2014. Citizens are invited to provide input and ask questions of the Water Plan Team.
Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Deputy Director Mike Armstrong says the revision of the state water plan is one of, if not the most, important conservation and economic development issue of the decade. "It touches so many facets of Arkansans quality of life, from their jobs, their health and their outdoor recreation. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is proud to be a partner with ANRC on this effort," Armstrong said. "These meetings will give everyone who hunts, fishes or simply enjoys Arkansas' natural surroundings an opportunity to learn about the water plan and become part of the process of the plan," he added.
Statewide water planning has a long history in Arkansas. The Arkansas Soil and Water Conservation Commission started handling the plan in 1969. In 1985, the legislature directed the Arkansas Soil and Water Conservation Commission to update the original plan and this update was completed in 1990.
The 1990 Arkansas State Water Plan was successful in addressing the needs of the state over the last two decades; however, Arkansas has changed and the use and value of water has changed. According to the U.S. Census, by the year 2030 the state's population is expected to exceed 3 million residents.
During the water plan update, projected water needs will be further evaluated to the year 2050 for all of the state's major water demand sectors—municipal, residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural and energy.