The Bayou Meto Basin is located in Central Arkansas and is a highly productive area for both agriculture and waterfowl. There are 267,982 acres of irrigated agriculture and 22,079 acres of fish farms within the basin. Bayou Meto Wildlife Management Area is world renowned for waterfowl hunting and is a very important wintering habitat for mallards in the Mississippi flyway. However, the inability to manage water has resulted in prolonged flooding of the bottomland hardwood forests and is threatening productivity.
Groundwater is the lifeblood of eastern Arkansas. The Alluvial Aquifer, which provides essentially all the water used for agricultural irrigation and fish farming, will be lost if measures to protect and conserve this resource are not taken. As the Alluvial has been depleted, farmers have started pumping from the Sparta Aquifer. This water in the past had been reserved for municipal water supply and fish farming. Depletion of the Alluvial Aquifer will change agriculture as it is presently practiced and will result in catastrophic economic losses for the entire region.
Other water resource problems include poor drainage in the lower portion of the Bayou Meto Basin and along the upper Bayou Meto, agricultural flooding and loss of environmental resources in the Bayou Meto area.