LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A proclamation from the Arkansas governor will initiate an update to caring and maintaining a critical state resource.

Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed an executive order on Monday calling for an update to the state’s Water Plan. The plan provides development and management direction for the state’s water and related land resources.

The plan is put together by the state’s Natural Resources Commission and was last updated in 2014. The commission will take input from data, science and the public to determine future water demands, water supplies, issues and possible solutions to needs.

The governor noted the state’s susceptibility to flooding and called for flood mitigation, such as through dams, levees and drainage improvements, in the proclamation.

The plan’s development will take place across two phases.

During the first stage, the current plan will be reviewed for needs and requirements which are anticipated to have changed since it was drawn up nine years ago. This phase had been given one year to completion, which will end with a plan to complete phase two.

In the second stage, the updates will be made based on the projections gathered in phase one. It will list needed updates to reflect the current demands, forecasts, supply, availability, and quality of surface and groundwater and related issues including flood mitigation and water management solutions.

Sanders directed the state’s new water plan be completed by Dec. 31, 2024, according to the Monday order.