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Lower Mississippi-Gulf Water Science Center -- Arkansas
Water-Use Data Program
Short Title: Water-Use Data Program
Project Chief: Terry Holland
Cooperators: Arkansas Naural Resources Commission
Project Time Frame: 1985 - present
Every 5 years since 1950, the USGS has conducted an inventory of water use in the United States. In 1978, the USGS initiated the National Water-Use Information Program to establish a nationwide water-use database. In 1985, the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission (ANRC) and the USGS began a water-use program that provides for the collection, storage, and dissemination of accurate water-use information for Arkansas within a consistent national framework. The ANRC conducts an annual inventory of the ground- and surface-water withdrawals in Arkansas in cooperation with USGS. Data collected during this inventory are shared by State and Federal agencies to document the State's total water use and to facilitate planning the most effective use of Arkansas' water resources for the economic and social well being of the people of Arkansas and the Nation.
Photograph of flood irrigation of soybeans using poly-pipe.
The nationally recognized cooperative water-use project has evolved from data compilation and entry in the early 1980's to a state-of-the-art remote web based, data entry and storage system in 2008. Site-specific water-use data are collected and compiled annually. Water users that withdraw 1 acre-foot or more of surface water per year or wells with the capability of pumping 50,000 gallons per day or more of ground water are required by Arkansas law to report their withdrawals to the appropriate reporting agency. Data for the irrigation, livestock, aquaculture, and duck (hunting) clubs categories are reported and remotely entered through the Conservation District offices in 29 eastern Arkansas counties. Water-use data for each of the other categories are reported directly to the ANRC. Site-specific water-use data for irrigation, livestock, duck (hunting) clubs, public supply, commercial, industrial, mining, and power generation are stored in the Arkansas Water-Use Data Base (WUDBS) maintained by USGS (http://arkweb.er.usgs.gov/data-bin/wateruse_reports). Information about amounts of water withdrawn, sources of water, how the water was used, and how much water was returned is available to water-resources managers and policy makers through WUDBS.
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