Residents Pay $1.4 Million to Revive Region 8 Lake

HORSESHOE LAKE, AR - A $1.4 million pumping system is now pouring water into a popular east Arkansas lake that had turned into a puddle at times because of drought.

Horseshoe Lake, about 30 miles from Memphis in Crittenden County, has been a favorite destination for thousands of fishermen, duck hunters and boaters.  Real estate agent Pat Bonds estimates that 80 percent of the houses on the lake belong to residents in the Memphis area.  The other 20 percent belong to permanent lake residents who commute to Memphis for work.

Now, six pumps are each moving 5,000 gallons of well water per minute, and another four pumps will be on line soon.

In 2001, the Army Corps of Engineers determined a pumping system would be good for the lake, but residents would have to pay for the system.  That's when lake residents formed an irrigation district to save the lake.

With its own tax dollars, the group was able to pay the construction costs for the pumping system.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)