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Arkansas Water Resources Center
Newsletter January 2015
Selected USGS 104B Funded Research Projects for 2015-2016
Each year, the AWRC partners with the US Geological Survey to fund research projects through the 104B program.

"We received many great proposals this year, which made for a competitive selection process," said Erin Scott, project manager for the Arkansas Water Resources Center.

After a thorough review process that included external peer review by AWRC's Technical Advisory Committee, we are happy to announce the selected projects. 

Selected proposals will address many important water resource issues in Arkansas, from water budgets in Eastern Arkansas to Phosphorus fate and transport in the Illinois River Watershed in northwest Arkansas.

Selected projects are listed below:
Faculty Projects:    
1)     REWARD: Rice Evapotranspiration and Water use in the Arkansas Delta; Benjamin R.K. Runkle
2)     Characterization of Phosphorus Stores in Soils and Sediments and the Potential for Phosphorus Release to Water, Related to Land Use and Landscape Position within a Watershed; Andrew Sharpley, Rosalind Dodd and Casey Dunigan
3)     Runoff Water Quality from Managed Grassland Amended with a Mixed Coal Combustion Byproduct; David M. Miller, Kristofer R. Brye and Erik D. Pollock        
Faculty Led Student Projects:     
1)     Does Environmental Context Mediate Stream Biological Response to Anthropogenic Impacts?; Lucy Baker and Sally Entrekin     
2)     Creating an Annual Hydroecological Dataset in Forested Ozark Streams; Allyn Fuell, Douglas Leasure, Dan Magoulick and Michelle A. Evans-White    
3)     Relationship Between Nutrients, Macrograzers Abundance (Central Stonerollers and Crayfish), and Algae on Ozark Streams; Kayla R. Sayre and Michelle A. Evans-White     
4)     Elucidation of a Novel Reaction Pathway for N-Nitrosamine Formation; David A. Meints II and Julian Fairey     
5)     Continuation of Analysis for Host-Specific Viruses in Water Samples Collected from Select 303(d) Listed Streams in the Illinois River Watershed; Kristen E. Gibson     
6)     Optical Water Quality Dynamics During Receding Flow in Five Northwest Arkansas Recreational Rivers; Amie O. West and J. Thad Scott
Researcher Spotlight on Dr. Yeonsang Hwang
Assistant Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, Arkansas State University.
Hwang recently received a grant from the AWRC through the US Geological Survey 104B program to fund a research project titled “Improved Ensemble Forecast Model for Drought Conditions in Arkansas Using Residual Re-sampling Method”.

The Problem: In Arkansas, the demand for groundwater (i.e., water collected from subsurface water stores like aquifers) and surface water (i.e., water diverted from lakes and rivers) has increased by 435% between 1965 and 2005, while the human population has increased by only 35%. This increase in water needs is driven largely by agricultural production in Eastern Arkansas, and irrigation competes with the need to provide domestic water supplies.
So What?: According to the Arkansas Farm Bureau, agriculture is the State’s largest industry, accounting for almost one quarter of the State’s economic activity, which is approximately $16 billion each year, and provides one out of every six jobs in Arkansas.  So, agriculture is important to the state of Arkansas.
The Research Question: Variability in water availability is a big concern for water resource managers and farmers, especially at a time when climate change is predicted to increase the occurrence of extreme events such as droughts. However, atmospheric systems are highly complex and variable, and it is not known how climate change will affect precipitation and drought events throughout Arkansas. Dr. Hwang’s research objective is to create a reliable forecast model to improve both short-term and long-term predictions of drought conditions in Arkansas.
The Methods: Hwang is developing a data-driven model using complex statistical techniques, since climate conditions are highly variable and include extreme events like floods and droughts; these techniques will enhance the ability of the model to forecast conditions for Arkansas. Additionally, Hwang is utilizing a technique that will generate a number of predictions rather than a single value – this provides an understanding of how variable the forecast would be, what range of hydrologic conditions we might expect. Using historical precipitation, temperature, and other climate data, along with the drought conditions, Hwang will produce a model representative of historical drought conditions and then the model can be used to forecast future drought events in Arkansas.
The Benefits: Hwang’s model is expected to improve drought forecasting in Arkansas by predicting drought events up to 3 months in advance and projecting wet and or dry conditions in the long-term. This information can be valuable in managing water resources under competing demands in Arkansas, including the timing of water use from different sources such as groundwater or surface water.
EPA Grants $13.5 Million to Arkansas for Drinking Water Improvements 
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded over $13.5 million to the state of Arkansas for drinking water infrastructure improvements. Funds will be used to help Arkansas install, upgrade and replace water infrastructure around the State, which addresses one of the biggest issues facing Arkansas – aging water infrastructure. 

This award is a part of the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF), which was established by the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), as amended in 1996. The DWSRF program objective is to help states meet the goals of the SDWA, which are to help ensure public health protection by regulating the nation’s public drinking water supply, help states comply with the rules and regulations of the SDWA, and to ensure affordable drinking water to all people. 
Through an interagency agreement with the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH), the DWSRF is administered by the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission (ANCR) – Water Division. The majority of funds will be used to make below market loans to community water systems throughout Arkansas. As the population grows and the current water systems age, significant investments must be made to install new treatment facilities and to improve aging systems experiencing a threat of contamination in order to ensure safe drinking water for all Arkansans.  

The Safe Drinking Water Act was passed by Congress in 1974 and just celebrated its 40th anniversary last year.
AEES Conference & Call for Abstracts
The American Ecological Engineering Society (AEES) is now accepting abstracts for oral and poster presentations for the 15th Annual Conference, to be held June 3-5, 2015 at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Abstracts are welcome addressing any aspect of ecological engineering and ecological desing practice, science, policy and community - and especially those that relate to the conference theme: Designing 21st Century Grasslands: Fire, Water, Conservation & Carbon.
The deadline for abstract submissions is March 9, 2015. Program space is limited and early submissions are highly encouraged. To submit an abstract and for more information, please visit:

Want to organize a program track? Please Contact Steve Patterson if interested.

Sponsorship & Exhibitor Opportunities
Your company, organization, or agency is invited to partner with AEES to support this year's conference by being a conference sponsor and exhibitor. For more information on sponsorship opportunities please contact Dan Storm.
Upcoming Events
January 9
Student Water Conference Abstract Deadline

January 12
Beaver Watershed Alliance 
Adopt-a-Highway 412 Cleanup
Valero Gas Station, Sonora

January 16
Abstract Deadline
Submit Electronically Here

January 21
ANRC Meeting
9:30am, Little Rock
17th Annual Arkansas Soil & Water Education Conference
Arkansas State University
Convocation Center
Jonesboro, AR.
January 30, 2015 
8am - 3pm
The deadline to register is January 26.
For more information please contact Chris Jones.   
StreamSmart Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring
Winter Quarterly Monitoring
February 1 - February 5
If you are interested in adopting a stream site to monitor in the Beaver Lake Watershed, please contact Angela Danov
Call for Nominations
Annual Conference

Award Nominations
Friday, February 6, 2015
If interested please contact 
Dr. Brian Haggard
Request for Proposals
2015 State Wildlife Grants
Deadline for proposals is February 13, 2015
Nutrient Sensor Challenge
Registration Closes
March 16, 2015
2015 Student Water Conference
Oklahoma State University March 26-27, 2015
Abstracts are due
January 9th
For more information contact Dr. Garey Fox 

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