Farm Progress

Water conference set for Nov. 8 at the C.A Vines Arkansas 4-H Center in Ferndale.Gulf of Mexico hypoxia, fracking on water conference agenda.Online registration at

October 29, 2012

2 Min Read

The dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico and fracking are on the agenda for the Nov. 8 “Water: The Choices: Water Law and Policy Conference” being held at the C.A. Vine Arkansas 4-H Center in Ferndale.

The conference keynote speaker is Joseph Dellapenna, law professor at Villanova University, a co-author of “Water and Water Rights,” the standard reference work on water law in the United States.

“The timing and topics of this Water Law and Policy Conference are extraordinary. The drought of 2012 underscores the importance of the state's water resource,” said Tom Riley, director of the Public Policy Center of the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture.

“Led by the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission, we have begun the process of updating the ‘State Water Plan’; natural gas exploration and hydrofracking have introduced new water demand and quality concerns; irrigation projects and rural water development gained in urgency; all while the questions of rights and use priorities became more complicated, especially in Riparian Law states. If you are interested in Arkansas' water future, this conference is the place to be.”

The conference, sponsored by the Public Policy Center and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Bowen School of Law, runs from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. The center is located at 1 Four H Way in Ferndale. The cost to attend is $55 and $20 for students. Lunch is included.

People can register online at For more information, contact Kristin Higgins at (501) 671-2160.

The combined sessions agenda:

  • Arkansas Water Plan -- Ed Swaim, Arkansas Natural Resources Commission, Water Resources Division Manager.

  • Chesapeake Bay total maximum daily load Litigation -- National Issues and Implications for the Mississippi River Basin -- Susan Bodine, a partner in Barnes & Thornburg LLP’s Washington, D.C., office. Bodine focuses her practice on environmental public policy issues including water pollution control, wetlands issues.

Concurrent sessions agenda:

  • Modeling data and the realities of using the information as a policy tool -- Dr. Andrew Sharpley, professor, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture.

  • Water navigability after the Montana court decision -- Ken Gould, professor William H. Bowen School of Law.

  • Gulf hypoxia and the Mississippi River Basin Initiative, its footprint and a big picture/Arkansas perspective -- Mike Sullivan, Arkansas state conservationist for the Natural Resource Conservation Service.

  • Infrastructure life cycle -- Graham Rich, CEO, Central Arkansas Water.

  • An update on Union County; A success story; Water policy after Sparta -- Robert Reynolds, president of the Union County Water Conservation Board.

  • Instream flows -- Dr. Dan Magoulick, professor of biology, University of Arkansas.

  • Fracking and deep injection wells in Arkansas -- Shane Khoury, deputy director/general counsel, Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission.

  • Invasive species -- Dr. Raghu Sathyamurthy, associate professor-entomology, University of Arkansas.

  • Numeric Nutrient Criteria -- Florida and beyond -- Susan Bodine.

For more information, visit the Public Policy Center online at

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