Ground Water Emergency Order Update

Date: Friday, November 3, 2011
Notice from DNR Office of Conservation, Commissioner James Welsh

On August 19, 2011, the Office of Conservation declared a temporary ground water emergency for two areas of South Caddo Parish due to exceptional drought conditions resulting in higher than normal withdrawal of ground water without sufficient offsetting aquifer recharge. These conditions have resulted in ground water levels in the Carrizo-Wilcox and Upland Terrace aquifers to drop to levels causing several shallower water wells in the two areas to go dry at the end of July 2011.

To prevent further water level decline and reduce stress on the aquifers in these two areas, Conservation ordered water conservation measures and ground water use restrictions. Details are provided in the August 2011 Memorandum and Emergency Order No. ENV-2011-GW014.

Since issuance of the Emergency Order, Conservation staff has continued to monitor hydrologic data in the region provided to our agency courtesy of the LSU Shreveport Red River Watershed Management Institute. Review of the latest ground water level data collected on October 28, 2011 from the LSU Shreveport monitoring wells located in the Areas of Interest indicate that water levels continue to remain significantly below water levels reported on June 28, 2011 from each respective well.

The latest U. S. Drought Monitor Report for Louisiana dated October 25, 2011 indicates that exceptional drought conditions continue to remain in effect for the region where the Areas of Interest are located. The Louisiana Office of State Climatology rainfall data for the area south of Shreveport indicates monthly rainfall totals for June through October 2011 to be well below respective average monthly rainfall with the month of October 2011 reported to be 65% below the monthly average.

In summary, conditions continue to remain unfavorable to suspend or rescind the Emergency Order and there are no indications that any amendments or further restrictions are necessary at this time. The Office of Conservation will continue to closely monitor hydrologic conditions in the Areas of Interest and periodically provide updates on the same. The Emergency Order remains in full effect until further notice.