Document Type

Technical Report

Publication Date



Clean Water Act, Arkansas, water pollution, economic activities, effluent limitations, water quality standards


Management of a critical natural resource like water requires information on the status of that resource. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported in the 1998 National Water Quality Inventory that more than 291,000 miles of assessed rivers and streams and 5 million acres of lakes do not meet State water quality standards. This inventory represents a compilation of State assessments of 840,000 miles of rivers and 17.4 million acres of lakes; a 22 percent increase in river miles and 4 percent increase in lake acres over their 1996 reports. Siltation, bacteria, nutrients and metals were the leading pollutants of impaired waters, according to EPA. The sources of these pollutants were presumed to be runoff from agricultural lands and urban areas. EPA suggests that the majority of Americans-over 218 million-live within ten miles of a polluted waterbody. This seems to contradict the recent proclamations of the success of the Clean Water Act, the Nation's water pollution control law. EPA also claims that, while water quality is still threatened in the US, the amount of water safe for fishing and swimming has doubled since 1972, and that the number of people served by sewage treatment plants has more than doubled.

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