The Arkansas Water Resources Center publishes this e-newsletter each month to highlight research, faculty, news and important events.
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October 2016
Water Report Nears Completion
By D.E. Smoot, Muskogee Phoenix

Members of a two-state panel overseeing a water-quality study for the Illinois River Basin share a sense of optimism that they will be able to hammer out a final draft of their executive report when they meet in mid-November.

That optimism is based upon an express agreement among the six panelists that the numerical phosphorus standard set in 2003 for Oklahoma’s scenic rivers is valid. There also appears to be a desire, based upon comments made following a meeting convened Friday, to reach a consensus for the final report due before the end of the year.

“Reading the tea leaves from my vantage point is that all six members are coming together in saying the standard already promulgated is within the strike zone,” said Ed Fite, vice president of water quality for the Grand River Dam Authority, which now oversees the state’s scenic rivers system. “Now they are looking at how that will be measured, and we are on the sidelines waiting to see what happens.”

Fite served as scenic rivers administrator when the 0.037 mg/L standard, which was based upon research drawn from data gathered before the turn of the century, was promulgated and ultimately adopted. The standard was intended to address water-quality degradation that occurred as the population and business activity mushroomed within the Illinois River watershed.

Can Researchers Relate Biological Activity to Hydrological Classes in Ozark Streams?

The Problem: We know that hydrology, or the way that water moves across the land and through waterways, can influence plants and animals that live in streams. Humans influence hydrology by changing the landscape, and we also influence what lives in streams and rivers by changing our environment. One problem with understanding the role that humans play in these changes is that often times there is little information available about what natural conditions should be, since humans are changing the environment almost everywhere.
So What?: Arkansas is the “Natural State”, and residents and tourists value our environmental resources, which are often used for outdoor recreation and are a big part of Arkansas’s economy. It’s important to balance land development needs with the preservation of our natural resources. The more we know about how natural systems work to provide environmental benefits, the better we can manage our water resources in response to the growing demand for other uses of the landscape, such as urban or agricultural development.


5 Arkansas Agencies to Develop Plan for Protecting Buffalo National River

By Emily Walkenhorst, Arkansas Online

Five state agencies will participate in the formation of a watershed management plan for the Buffalo National River, Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Friday [September 30].
The state departments of Environmental Quality, Health, Parks and Tourism, Agriculture, and the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission will form the Buffalo River Action Committee. That committee, with the help of a $107,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, will hire an engineer to assist in analyzing existing data and developing a plan to protect the Buffalo River, Department of Environmental Quality Director Becky Keogh said.
The watershed protection plan will not regulate development in the watershed but would be a guide for development and a catalyst for obtaining additional grants for landowners in the watershed who want to implement protective measures, Keogh said.
A watershed is the area surrounding a body of water in which materials can drain into the body of water.
Read Saturday's [October 1] Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.


$14 Million BHP Billiton Donation Protects Rivers and Forestlands

By PRNewswire-USNewswire

The Nature Conservancy and BHP Billiton announced the joint Sustainable Rivers and Forests Initiative, which has led to the protection of nearly 3,700 acres of critical riverfront property and forestland in Texas and Arkansas.
Funded by a $14 million donation from BHP Billiton, the program has helped the Conservancy renew conservation efforts near Houston, the fastest growing metropolitan area in the United States, and will enable nearly a dozen restoration and water quality improvement projects to benefit drinking water, fishing habitat and rare species in Arkansas.
"BHP Billiton is excited to partner with The Nature Conservancy on this critical conservation initiative. We look beyond our operations to identify opportunities that enhance the resilience of our natural environment because we recognize that watershed protection through critical habitat conservation has a far reaching impact," said Steve Pastor, President Petroleum Operations, BHP Billiton.


For more information on Greer's Ferry Lake, Little Red River, and surrounding areas go to

For more information on the South Fork Nature Center visit

For more information on The Nature Conservancy go to
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Calendar of Events

October 19
BWA Invasive Plant Removal
Fayetteville, AR

October 22
BWA Lake Sequoyah Cleanup
Fayetteville, AR

October 23-25
SW AWWA Annual Conference
Rogers, AR

October 25
EPA Small Systems Webinar Series - Legionella Control in Large Building Water Systems

October 26
EPA Water Research Webinar Series - Green Infrastructure Modeling Software

October 27
IRWP Arkansas River Compact Commission Annual Public Meeting
Cave Springs, AR

October 27-28
ADEQ and ANRC Biennial Watershed Conference: A Fluid Mosaic - The Big Picture of Watersheds
Eureka Springs, AR

October 29
IRWP Make a Difference Day
Cave Springs, AR

October 31
ADEQ deadline to submit written input on the 2018 Assessment Methodology
Little Rock, AR

November 5
IRWP Native Plant Seed Collection
Fayetteville, AR
Job Openings

FTN Associates
Multiple listings for aquatic toxicologist, engineers
Little Rock, AR

McClelland Consulting Engineers
Design Engineers
Little Rock or Fayetteville, AR or Tulsa, OK

Rogers Water Utilities
Environmental Technician
Rogers, AR


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Arkansas Water Resources Center · 203 Engineering Hall, University of Arkansas · Fayetteville, AR 72701 · USA

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