Shrinking Aquifer Causes Lower Well Levels in Eastern Arkansas

SEPTEMBER 25, 2006 - Posted at 7:50 a.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR - Hydrologists say a shrinking aquifer in eastern Arkansas is causing well levels in 26 counties to drop by more than twice their normal amount.

Between spring 2005 and spring 2006, water levels in 665 wells that draw from the Mississippi River alluvial aquifer fell, on average, 2.14 feet.  A normal drop is one foot.

On average, Arkansas receives 49.21 inches in precipitation per year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center.  But last year, the state received only 36.3 inches.

Through August of this year, the state had received 30.32 inches of precipitation, but somer southern parts of the state have received far less than normal.

The Mississippi River Aquifer spreads for about 32,000 miles in Missouri, Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)