By Ronnie Weston| May 16, 2013 at 2:44 PM CDT - Updated June 15 at 1:43 PM
LITTLE ROCK (AGFC) – The Arkansas Natural Resources Commission is in the process of writing a new Arkansas water plan. The plan is a comprehensive program for the orderly development and management of water and related land resources, or in other words, it is the state policy for water.
Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Deputy Director Mike Armstrong emphasized the importance water plays in the everyday lives of Arkansans. "This water plan will be an important wildlife conservation initiative for setting goals of providing water for our vital agriculture and industrial needs while sustaining water for fishing and duck hunting that is important to our quality of life in Arkansas. Anyone interested in waterfowl hunting and fishing should be paying attention to the water plan revision project," Armstrong said.
The 1990 water plan was developed after the drought of 1980. The issues identified and the proposed solutions to water problems are still relevant today. Great strides have been made building drinking water supplies, improving wastewater treatment, and reducing nonpoint source pollution, among other advances. It is now time to assess our progress and prepare for the future.
Since the 1980s, the ANRC has developed years of new data on water use, groundwater declines, population changes, streamflows and other water issues to update our planning documents. Advances in computer technology and science have given the agency new tools to analyze the data more effectively than ever before.
This update will bring the data, science, and public input together to define water demands, water supply, and potential solutions to meet Arkansas's needs for the next 40 years.
The ANRC has contracted engineering firms to assemble data and review demands and supplies for agriculture, industry, recreation, municipal water, navigation, fish and wildlife, power generation, etc. To make sure the update calculates demands and supplies as accurately as possible, the ANRC will need the help of the people of Arkansas.
Upcoming public meetings include:
Arkadelphia, Henderson State University, Garrison Center
Pine Bluff, Family Church
(Water Plan Presentation held at 11 a.m.)
Fort Smith, Fort Smith Convention Center
Little Rock, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Auditorium
Stuttgart, Phillips Community College, Grand Prairie Center, Salon B
Harrison, North Arkansas College, Durand Center, Durand B
Russellville, Lake Point Convention Center(Water Plan Presentation at 11:30 a.m.)
3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Fayetteville, Pauline Whitaker Animal Science Center
3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Clinton, Annex Court House Room
Searcy, Carmichael Community Center
Jonesboro, Arkansas State University, Convocation Center
Forrest City, East Arkansas Community College Fine Arts Center Banquet Hall