The Bayou Meto Water Management District and the Army Corps of Engineers have developed a plan to protect and conserve the groundwater resources of the Bayou Meto Basin. The three components of the plan are Aquifer Protection and Agricultural Water Supply, Flood Protection and Waterfowl Management.
Aquifer Protection and Agricultural Water Supply
To protect the aquifer without devastating the economy, groundwater use must be reduced to a sustainable level.
Groundwater studies conducted by the U. S. Geological Survey indicate that groundwater can provide only 22% of the total agricultural water needed without further damaging the aquifers.
On-farm conservation and storage improvements - Cost-share would be available for on-farm improvements to collect, store and transport surface runoff for reuse on the farm.
Imported water - A pumping station is being built on the Arkansas River just upstream of the David D. Terry Lock and Dam at River Mile 109. Water will be transferred via a network of new canals, pipelines and existing ditches to area farms.
Flood protection is an important component of the project. Flooding damages occur frequently adjacent to the many streams throughout the Bayou Meto Basin. One of the area's greatest needs is relief from flooding and improving drainage in the lower portion of the basin, including the Wildlife Management Area, as well as along low lying areas in the upper Bayou Meto.
A plan has been selected that will balance the needs of flood protection and the environment. Features to reduce flooding, improve drainage and enhance water management include channel improvements, water control structures and a pumping station.
A pump station located at the outlet of Little Bayou Meto, operating in conjunction with the channel improvements, will significantly reduce flooding and allow for better water management for waterfowl in the Bayou Meto Wildlife Management Area and the lower portions of the basin.
Aquifers are a great, unseen resource that interact with wetlands, streams and rivers. Protection of the Aquifers is essential for a complete and functioning ecosystem.
The waterfowl management portion of the selected plan was developed with the goals of improving existing habitat conditions within the Basin through improved water management practices and increasing available habitat through the restoration of thousands of acres of prairie (including prairie wetlands).