Water, one of the earth's most vital resources, is particularly significant in the Arkansas Delta agricultural landscape. While both surface and groundwater are extremely important, 94% of the 26.9 billion L (7.1 billion gal) of water pumped daily from the Alluvial Aquifer is used for agricultural purposes. This common property is subsequently being depleted and sustainable conservation methods are being pursued. State and federal incentive programs encourage the use of a tailwater recovery system in agricultural irrigation. With the use of a complete recovery system, benefits include not only government incentives for wetland habitat, but reduced groundwater use and decreased agricultural runoff entering receiving streams. Costs incurred to the farm manager include crop loss due to reservoir storage, additional ditch construction, and the cost of a liftpump. Use of these systems offers not only economic benefits associated with aquifer preservation but also ecological benefits including reduced nutrient and sediment loading to receiving streams concurrent with ecosystem services. The overall benefit/cost analysis ofthese systems shows that the economic benefits of using a tailwater recovery system exceed the cost. Other positive features include the ecological benefits of surface water protection and ecosystem services.
Bouldin, Jennifer L.; Bickford, Nate A.; Stroud, H. B.; and Guha, G. S.
"Tailwater Recovery Systems for Irrigation: Benefit/Cost Analysis and Water Resource Conservation Technique in Northeast Arkansas,"
Journal of the Arkansas Academy of Science: Vol. 58
, Article 6.
Available at: http://scholarworks.uark.edu/jaas/vol58/iss1/6