Water Usage Issues in Southwest Louisiana

Michael Tritico, RESTORE, P.O. Box 233, Longville, LA 70652 michaeltritico@yahoo.com , Paul Ringo, Sabine Riverkeeper, 2090 Mouth of the Creek Road, Merryville, LA 70653 paul.ringo0815@gmail.com


Safe drinking water for humans must be acknowledged as the highest, best use of any of Louisiana source of fresh water. A Policy of Prudence must rule every decision made that would allocate fresh water to any other use, never allowing an irrevocable preference for any non-drinking water ration.


The designation in 1988 of the Chicot Aquifer as Southwest Louisiana’s Sole Source of safe drinking water emphasized the need for reserving that aquifer for present and future human consumption as well as the need for efforts to restore surface water sources to potable and ecologically-strong conditions.


Examples of problems with the quality and quantity of water available in Southwest Louisiana are presented along with proposals for actions that should be performed in order to assure a permanent supply of safe drinking water for our people:


  1. Threats to Water Quality and, by extension, Threats to Human Health and Ecosystem Viability
  2. Contamination of the Chicot Aquifer by toxins
  3. Willow Springs/Little River/West Fork of the Calcasieu River
  4. DeRidder Paper Mill – primary recharge zone in Beauregard Parish
  5. EDC leak vs. Westlake municipal wells
  6. Utilization of the wrong aquifer – Beauregard Waterworks District #3
  7. Excessive sodium from Evangeline and Jasper Aquifer wells
  8. High rate of strokes in parish
  9. Excessive pH
  10. Threats to Water Quantity
  11. Overutilization of Chicot Aquifer by agricultural and industrial sources
  12. Wastage through steam
  13. Exporting both surface and aquifer waters to other states
  14. Ecosystem destruction through deprivation
  15. Calcasieu Saltwater Barrier
  16. Sabine Lake


As occurs with all stresses on public policy, the eventual solutions to problems depend upon generation and acceptance of facts. Science has provided the most important facts in all of the situations described. The resolution of present problems and those that are recognized in the future will be made possible by the continuation of and expansion of basic scientific inquiry


Keywords: Chicot, Sole, Source, Prudence

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