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Water Supply Problems and Solutions in the Grand Prairie Region of Arkansas
Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.orgCitation: 5th National Decennial Irrigation Conference Proceedings, 5-8 December 2010, Phoenix Convention Center, Phoenix, Arizona USA IRR10-9844.(doi:10.13031/2013.35853)
Authors: Phil L Tacker, Earl D Vories, Dennis Carman
Keywords: Rice, irrigation, Arkansas, Grand Prairie, Alluvial Aquifer, Critical Groundwater Area, USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service, US Army Corps of Engineers
Rice has been produced in Arkansas' Grand Prairie, an area in the east-central portion of the state situated between the White and Arkansas Rivers with more than 100,000 tilled ha, at least as far back as 1905. By 1915 the Alluvial Aquifer, the principal water source for agriculture in eastern Arkansas and surrounding areas, was being tapped at a rate that exceeded its ability to recharge. The problem was exacerbated as the area in rice production increased and farmers began to irrigate other crops. In 1991 Congress empowered the US Army Corps of Engineers to work with USDA's Natural Resource Conservation Service, Arkansas Natural Resources Commission, and other public and private groups to find and implement an effective solution to this 90-year old problem. Without an adequate solution, studies predicted that portions of the Alluvial Aquifer would be commercially useless by the year 2015; therefore, in July 1998 the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission declared the Arkansas Grand Prairie to be a Critical Groundwater Area. This report details the progress and setbacks of efforts to implement an effective solution to this problem.(Download PDF) (Export to EndNotes)