folded rock Cossatot

Arkansas has abundant water resources due to its geographic location. Arkansas receives an average of 49 inches of rainfall a year or approximately 124 billion gallons per day (bgd). Streams and rivers that flow into the state add an additional 37 bgd as surface water. However at least half of this total always returns to the atmosphere as vapor and some 48 percent becomes surface runoff, with most of the this going into the Mississippi River (See Surface Water). Only about 4 percent or 2 inches out of the 49 inches of rain that falls on Arkansas finds its way into the ground to become what is referred to as ground water. The average resident of Arkansas uses about 160 gallons of water per day with the state as a whole is using close to 11.5 billion gallons of water per day.

Water, one of our most important resources, is taken for granted unless we have too much or too little of it.

Spring bubbles rising from stream bed


Holland, T.W., 2007, Water use in Arkansas, 2005: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific InvestigationsReport 2007-5241

Howard, J.M., Colton, G.W., and Prior, W.L., eds., 1997, Mineral, fossil-fuel, and water resources of Arkansas: Arkansas Geological Commission Bulletin 24