JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - With groundwater levels dropping in Arkansas, Jonesboro businesses have voiced their concerns in the city.
According to Kevan Inboden, special projects administrator with City Water and Light, people have approached them after seeing many reports of the groundwater levels in parts of the state.
"Arkansas, as a whole, uses a lot of groundwater, predominantly for irrigation in agriculture," said Inboden. "Several areas are seeing declining groundwater levels due to the fact that we are pulling water faster than it can be replenished."
Inboden said there are even critical groundwater designations in parts of Northeast Arkansas, where levels are dropping.
"It starts to the north at Clay County all the way down to Lee County but those critical groundwater areas are west of Crowley's Ridge," said Inboden.
Because Crowley's Ridge cuts down the middle of Craighead County, most of their water wells are on the east side of the ridge.
"West of the ridge we see some heavier, clay-like, gumbo soil that does not allow the water to percolate down as well," said Inboden. "East of Crowley's Ridge we have sandier silkier type of soil as well as the St. Francis River system that replenishes the groundwater."
Inboden said they conduct a hydrolysis study every ten years and based on the data, Jonesboro is not an area that will be affected anytime soon.
"As Jonesboro grows, we feel like on studies and measurements, we will have decades of water supply through groundwater resources to enable Jonesboro to continue to grow and the water demands along with that," said Inboden.
Inboden said they have the ability to plan where to put water wells in the city after to get more high quality, low-cost groundwater.
"We just did the first phase of an extensive groundwater study where we identified several locations that have adequate quality and quantity groundwater," said Inboden.
Inboden said this will be a part of an ongoing project where, in the upcoming years, they will construct more wells and build water lines that would connect to their water plants. The well at Central Baptist Church is the first one of the project.
"We are very fortunate here in Jonesboro to have good groundwater," said Inboden. "Again we have decades of water resources in Jonesboro so right now we are doing pretty well."
No matter what, Inboden encourages all of their customers to use their water wisely.
"It is the most undervalued, underappreciated resources that we have so we still need to take care of that resource and use it wisely and not waste it," said Inboden.
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