The tremendous population growth of Northwest Arkansas since the early 1990s has made the region one of the fastest growing and most productive areas of the United States as shown by the Milken Institute, who recognized Northwest Arkansas as the eighth best performing region among two hundred of the United States ’ largest metropolitan areas in 2005.  Forecasters with the University of Arkansas ’ Center for Business and Economic Research predict that this economic expansion will continue into the foreseeable future and estimated that Northwest Arkansas ’ population will increase from 364,000 in 2005 to almost 580,000 by 2020. 

Arriving hand in hand with this influx of new residents are challenges that the region must address if it is to continue to be a desirable place to live, work, and raise a family.  Key among these challenges is the provision of affordable and environmentally-friendly wastewater and bio-solids treatment.  Without this basic public service, Northwest Arkansas ’ growth could stagger to a halt and its long-term economic health jeopardized. 

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Fortunately, the region’s public sector leaders have a track record of responding to regional challenges with innovative solutions.  Using this legacy of success as a guide, the cities of Rogers and Springdale created the Northwest Arkansas Conservation Authority (NACA) pursuant to Arkansas Code Annotated 14-233-101, et seq, the “Joint County and Municipal Solid Waste Disposal Act” to address the treatment and disposal of bio-solids in Washington and Benton counties.  Since its creation in 2002, eight additional municipalities joined the Authority whose mission expanded to include not only bio-solids, but also wastewater treatment, community education, and watershed monitoring and protection.  It current membership roster includes the cities of:

Bethel Heights
Cave Springs
Elm Springs

Each member city is represented on the Authority’s board of directors.

The cost to construct a new, regional treatment facility is high, but the cost for each entity in Northwest Arkansas to "go it alone" would be much higher, and not as environmentally sound as the regional approach.  Many describe Northwest Arkansas as the "economic engine of Arkansas" and the region is proud to contribute its part to the economy of the state, and indeed, the nation.  A partnership between the federal government, state government, and the dedicated members of the Northwest Arkansas Conservation Authority is imperative in order to protect the region’s natural heritage and sustain its economic vitality thereby contributing to an ever higher quality of life for all the citizens of this great state.

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Copyright © 2006
Northwest Arkansas Conservation Authority