The water-use program in Arkansas is a cooperative effort between the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission and the U.S. Geological Survey to inventory water use. During 2005, the amount of water withdrawn from ground- and surface-water sources in Arkansas was estimated to be 11,455 million gallons per day (Mgal/d). Of this amount, about 7,510 Mgal/d (66 percent) was from ground-water and about 3,946 Mgal/d (34 percent) was from surface-water sources.
Approximately 93 percent of the population (2.6 million people) in Arkansas was served by public supply systems during 2005. These systems withdrew approximately 404 Mgal/d. Most of the water, 66 percent, was from surface-water sources. The statewide average for per-capita residential use from public supply systems was 157 gallons per day and increased about 35 percent between 1965 and 2005.
The largest use of water was for irrigation (8,265 Mgal/d), which accounted for 92 percent (6,942 Mgal/d) of the ground water withdrawn in Arkansas and 72 percent of the total withdrawals (both ground water and surface water). The next largest use category is thermoelectric generation (1,997 Mgal/d), followed by public supply (404 Mgal/d) and duck (hunting) clubs (269 Mgal/d). The withdrawal categories of domestic, commercial, industrial, mining, livestock, and aquaculture each withdrew less than 260 Mgal/d.