Watershed Task Force Works to Finalize New Restrictions

LITTLE ROCK, AR–A plan to solidify controversial restrictions impacting drinking water for nearly half a million Arkansans hit with a delay Monday.

Last April the Pulaski County quorum court approved a set of restrictions to help protect the Lake Maumelle watershed. The rules sparked so much opposition a task force was formed and given a year to make suggested changes. At what should have been their final meeting they learned they missed their deadline to go before the quorum court in April.

“We had been working toward the April 1st deadline and it wasn’t clear as that meant 5pm March 31st. It was disappointing to hear we missed that but there has been so much work put in moving forward, I don’t think there will be much changes or negotiation,” says John Tynan, Director of Community Relations and Public Affairs for Central Arkansas Water.

“If you go back and look at why people like to go to Wye Mountain they love to go out to see forest and cattle, for people who live out there it’s a beautiful place to go for people who live out there its a way of life,” says berry farmer Butch Eggers.

The task force feels they’ve made great progress over the last 8 months. Roughly 400,000 Arkansans get their water from the watershed. And 500 landowners have access to land that could affect it. The committee plans to get their proposed changes before the quorum court in May.

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