Natural Resources

Efficiently and responsibly managing and protecting our water and land resources for the sustainability, health, safety, and economic benefit of the State of Arkansas

Arkansas Water Plan

What is the Arkansas Water Plan?

The Arkansas Water Plan ("AWP") is the state's policy for long-term water management.  The AWP includes all previous updates to the Plan and is a dynamic framework updated to meet our state's changing needs. The AWP brings data, science, and public input together to define water demands, water supplies, issues, and potential solutions to meet our future needs.  The Arkansas General Assembly uses recommendations from each update to determine how to oversee our water resources.

Water Planning in Arkansas

Statewide water planning has a long history in Arkansas. In 1969, the General Assembly delegated the responsibility for state water resource planning to the Arkansas Natural Resource Commission (then known as the Arkansas Soil and Water Conservation Commission). In 1969, ANRC also received statutory authority to begin work on the first Arkansas State Water Plan. The first AWP was published in 1975.

In 1985, the Arkansas General Assembly broadened the ANRC's water planning responsibilities to include conducting an inventory of the State's water resources, determining current needs and future needs of all water uses in the State, and determining whether excess surface water existed that might be put to beneficial use. The General Assembly also directed ANRC to update the original plan, and this update was completed in 1990. In 2014, ANRC completed the next update.

For more information contact:
Ryan Benefield P.E., Deputy Director
Arkansas Department of Agriculture
Natural Resources Division
10421 W. Markham Street
Little Rock, AR 72205
Phone (501) 682-3962 Fax (501) 682-3991