U.S. Water News Online
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas and Missouri officials agreed to meet annually to study ways to protect watersheds and aquifers that cross state lines, a pact both states said would help keep water fights out of the courtroom.
Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe signed the bi-state water agreement with Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt at an event in Springfield, Mo. Beebe said the agreement was a contrast to the state's relationship with Oklahoma, which has sued Arkansas poultry firms over water quality issues.
“It's better to work together than end up in court,” Beebe said.
The agreement calls for Missouri and Arkansas agencies dealing with water issues to meet at least annually, starting next year, and to produce a biennial report on the status of the agreement. It also calls on the states to develop and share monitoring and modeling of water quality in their shared watersheds.
Randy Young, director of the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission, said Missouri officials had been pushing for such an agreement for the past several years. Young said the state has been working with Missouri on the pact for the past few months.
Young said he believed both states would be in a better position to receive federal dollars for water quality issues because of the agreement.