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Water usage at record-high in Arkansas

Water providers in Arkansas are seeing record usage because of high temperatures.

LOWELL, Ark. — We are finally seeing some relief with rain and cooler temperatures, but water usage has been at record highs all month across Arkansas. 

Even with water use rising, both major water suppliers in the River Valley and Northwest Arkansas say there isn't a shortage of water.

“We have plenty of water supply and we have plenty of water supply for the foreseeable future,” said Lane Crider.

If you live in Northwest Arkansas, then you drink water that comes from the Beaver Water District by way of Beaver Lake. The lake started the summer with very high water levels and is still at flood pool despite record high usage with triple-digit temperatures the last few weeks.

“We were setting daily records almost on a daily basis throughout the month of July. We have set a new total sold for the Beaver Water District of 102.5 million gallons per day,” he said.

The Beaver Water District says if things continue like they are now, they project they will sell 9% more water this year than last year, totaling 24 billion gallons. Beaver Water District CEO Lane Crider says because of population increases they’ve seen pretty substantial water sale increases over the last five years. They have the capacity to process 140 million gallons of water a day. He says we’ll continue to see more instances of flash droughts.

“Where we will see dramatic increases in usage, and we continue to work with and communicate with our four customer cities as well as the Corps of Engineers in order to develop and sustain a drought contingency plan,” he said.

In the River Valley, there has also been a large increase in water usage this summer but they can also produce the water needed. City of Fort Smith Utility Director Lance McAvoy says they normally produce 30 million gallons a day, but recently they’ve been producing 40 to 50 million gallons a day.

“Lake Fort Smith is over 90% full. Lee Creek is well above 70%, so as long as we can continue to produce water and deliver it, we should not see any conservation criteria,” he said.

Just because there aren’t many water restrictions throughout our area, you should still be mindful of your water usage. The City of Fayetteville is still asking people living in east Fayetteville and Goshen to practice water conservation by adjusting irrigation times and frequency.

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