New regulations on water, both at the state and federal levels, could have major implications for agriculture.

“Anything water-related is a big concern,” said Andrew Grobmyer, Agricultural Council of Arkansas executive vice president at the council’s Aug. 18 board of directors meeting in Marianna, Ark. “A new Arkansas Water Plan is coming and that will mean big changes. I think there will be a lot of different ideas emerging with that plan and we want to be poised to help improve upon and expand the more efficient use of water.”

Earlier this summer the executive summary of the Water Plan was published. Grobmyer urged attendees to “spend some time and go through it, figure out what’s good and bad. I must say, it isn’t as bad as I first feared when we got into this process. However, there are still a lot of questions and concerns I have with the direction it seems to be heading.”

Comments on the plan are being accepted until October “so we’re being active in that. We’re working with commodity groups and other farm advocacy groups on that.”

One of the biggest questions for Grobmyer is language in the plan that provides authority for wells to be condemned. “That wasn’t anything I remember being discussed initially. However, it appeared in the summary and it isn’t clear where they have that authority or would utilize it.

“Also, from the beginning, the fish and wildlife interests have been pushing for reformulating the way we determine stream flows on surface waters. Our biggest concern is the dry months of the summer when water levels may drop. It seems to me the way we’ve done things to date has worked.”

Demands for water present Mid-South agriculture with major questions