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The Sparta aquifer is a confined aquifer of great regional importance that comprises a sequence of unconsolidated sand, silt, and clay units extending across much of eastern and southeastern Arkansas and into adjoining States.
Water use from the aquifer has doubled since 1975 and continues to increase, and large water-level declines are occurring in many areas of the aquifer.
To focus State attention and resources on the growing problem and to provide a mechanism for locally based education and management, the Arkansas Soil and Water Conservation Commission has designated Critical Ground-Water Areas in some counties (see page 6, ?What is a Critical Ground-Water Area??).
Ground-water modeling study results show that the aquifer cannot continue to meet growing water-use demands.
Dewatering of the primary producing sands is predicted to occur within 10 years in some areas if current trends continue.
The predicted dewatering will cause reduced yields and damage the aquifer.
Modeling also shows that a concerted ground-water conservation management plan could enable sustainable use of the aquifer.
Water-conservation measures and use of alternative sources that water managers in Union County (an area of high demand and growth in Arkansas' initial five-county Critical Ground-Water Area) think to be realistic options result in considerable recovery in water levels in the aquifer during a 30-year model simulation.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
The Sparta aquifer in Arkansas' critical ground-water areas : response of the aquifer to supplying future water needs
Water-Resources Investigations Report
U.S. Dept. of the Interior,U.S. Geological Survey,
1 folded sheet; 6 p. :col. ill., col. maps ;28 cm.