Union County Water Conservation Board

WaterFest 2011

Sparta Aquifer Links
Results: Aquifer Levels Rising 2004-2019
Sparta Aquifer Recovery Monitoring Well Dedicated
Historical Groundwater Levels & Union County Water Usage, 8 USGS Real-Time Monitoring Wells
Louisiana: Well Levels 2004 - 2012
Louisiana: Water Quality Analyses thru 2013
Louisiana: UCWCB Report to LDNR June 2012
Project Map
Monitoring Well Network Map - Project Impact to Date
Water Quality Data 2001 - 2014
GraphA | GraphB | GraphC

Burns & McDonnell Benchmark Magazine: Sparta Comeback
Ouachita River Alternative Water Supply Project Description - 2006
AETN Special Report: "Troubled Water"
Rockefeller Foundation 2008: "Water Issues in Arkansas: An Unfinished Story"
Senator Pryor Welcomes Sparta Project Partners to D.C. to Accept U.S. Department of Interior Award
Final Report to EPA: Sparta Aquifer Recovery Study 2002 - 2007
Semi-Annual EPA Updates  

Related Links
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. Geological Survey
Arkansas Natural Resources Commission
Louisiana Sparta Groundwater Commission

Burns & McDonnell Engineering


Contact Us:
Union County Water Conservation Board

441 West Cedar
El Dorado, Arkansas 71730
cindywoolsey@suddenlink.net 870 814-2871

Last Updated: 18.OCT.19

Sparta Aquifer Recovery Study

Home->EPA Final Report 2002-2007

Final Report to EPA:
Sparta Aquifer Recovery Study 2002 - 2007

There follows on behalf of the Union County (Arkansas) Water Conservation Board (Board) the Final Report - Sparta Aquifer Recovery Study to EPA Region VI in Dallas.

The Final Report covers all activities throughout the five-year, federally funded, Sparta Aquifer Recovery Monitoring Study from August 2002 through November 2007.

To recap primary events leading up to the Study, in 1999, and in order to address Union County, Arkansas's rapidly declining groundwater Sparta aquifer, the Board determined by evaluating all options that providing an alternative surface water source to three major industries offered the most feasible, fastest, and cost-effective way to reduce groundwater consumption. Time was of the essence: the U.S. Geological Survey, with concurrence from the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission (then Arkansas Soil & Water Conservation Commission), had advised Union County that it had five years or less to reverse over-consumption of groundwater, or risk inflicting irreparable damage to the Sparta.

The Board immediately undertook construction of the $65 million Ouachita River Alternative Water Supply Project, and by 2002, federal grant funds through EPA made the Sparta Aquifer Recovery Study possible. The Study offered a method of measuring, with scientific integrity, the Project's impact on the Sparta aquifer. The Study would also provide the Board with necessary data and information to evaluate whether or not further conservation measures would be necessary.

In order to measure Project impact and accumulate valid Study data, the Board established a network of twenty-nine monitoring wells throughout five contiguous South Arkansas counties and three adjacent North Louisiana Parishes. Five years later, and with ample benchmark data for before and after Project completion comparisons, both water level and water quality data are encouraging, and both indicate the Board's Project is achieving some measure of success.

While all Union County wells were declining prior to 1999, water levels have increased in all the Study wells over the five-year period, one as much as 48 feet. Also, as the Board had anticipated, water quality degradation appears to have been halted.

To quote Randy Young, Executive Director of the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission, "Water levels in Union County, Arkansas are rising for the first time in over sixty years."

While the news is all very good, the Sparta is continuing to rise and the Board intends to continue monitoring the aquifer for both water level and water quality changes. As it has since launching its web site in 2003, the Board will continue to post new data, reports and information at http://ucwcb.org". Public access to the publicly-funded Project and Study information has been and will continue to be a Board priority.

The following report summarizes Study period activities by all project partners, including the Board, Burns & McDonnel Engineers, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the Union County Conservation District.

Final Report to EPA: Sparta Aquifer Recovery Study 2002 - 2007


This website was developed to provide public access to the data developed by the Study. We welcome your interest and we would appreciate your suggestions for saving the Sparta aquifer or improving this website. For more information about this website or to contact the Board, please email us.