Vicksburg, Miss. – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg District (Corps) commander Colonel Jeff Eckstein recently met with Hot Springs, Arkansas Mayor Ruth Carney to jointly sign a Memorandum of Agreement on behalf of the Mid-Arkansas Water Alliance (MAWA) to explore the possibility of drawing water from Lake Ouachita for municipal use. MAWA is a consortium of 27 public water utilities, associations, and municipalities representing 750,000 consumers, more than one fourth the population of the State. The entity demonstrating an urgent need for additional drinking water is Hot Springs, which was authorized by MAWA to sign on behalf of the association.
The Lake Ouachita water study will take approximately two years to complete and will cost approximately $300,000. Richard Penn, utilities director for Hot Springs stated, “This is an extremely important step forward in solving our city’s water supply challenges. We are currently using over 80% of our capacity.”
Hot Springs uses two water treatment plants in serving more than 90,000 customers. These two plants are capable of producing a maximum of 25 million gallons per day. During high temperature months, Hot Springs uses over 23 million gallons per day.
National policy recognizes that state and non-federal entities have the primary responsibility for water supply development and management. The Corps water supply mission is to support partnerships with state and non-federal water management agencies, to provide additional water supply to support municipal and industrial water.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers manages public lands that offer a wide assortment of safe recreational opportunities and provide a tremendous economic value to the nation. The three Vicksburg District Corps lakes in Arkansas draw approximately 2.6 million visitors per year, contributing approximately $50 million to regional tourism supporting an estimated 750 jobs. Additionally, the three hydropower plants can produce 168,000 kilowatts of environmentally friendly electricity.
To learn more about the Vicksburg District, visit our website, www.mvk.usace.army.mil