Every five years the United States Geological Survey (USGS) releases a usage survey for the Sparta Aquifer, and the results from the beginning of this year show the groundwater source is losing more than anticipated.

Lindsay Goudey, Education Coordinator for the Sparta Groundwater Comission, says that use over the last 5 years has increased to around 60 million gallons a day, up from roughly 56 million as of the last set of data.

Decades of net loss have lead to less than ideal water. Industrial use has let up on the pull in the twin cities, but population growth is now to blame on the larger pull.

There are ways to solve this issue, with the main one being repairs to infrastructure. Gouedy says a survey was conducted by the Louisiana Rural Water Association (LRWA), saying that 10 million gallons of water was lost due to poor infrasturcture. She also says lack of updated data doesn’t give an accurate representation of what is currently going on.

Ouachita Parish Police Jury member Jack Clampit says the lower Cheniere Lake area between highway 3033 and 34 would be an ideal area to capture water.