The Arkansas Water Resources Center publishes this e-newsletter each month to highlight research, faculty, news and important events.
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September 2017

2017 AWRC Research Conference: Post Conference Wrap-Up

This year’s conference was a huge success! 

The conference theme was “Protecting Water Supplies for People and the Environment” and over 150 people attended the event at the Fayetteville Town Center on July 25-26. 

“The AWRC conference is a unique opportunity to meet with current and future collaborators,” said Kent Kovacs, Assistant Professor in Agricultural Economics at the University of Arkansas. Indeed, the conference is a great place to learn, network, and share ideas with others.

Session Topics
The opening session was about protecting water supplies, and the importance of PARTNERS in the effort to protect source water quality was emphasized greatly – a successful protection program needs support from various agencies, utilities, and the public.


Summer Intern Helps AWRC Address Mission

Yakeshia Jenkins, a senior in computer science at the University of Arkansas, spent the summer working with the Arkansas Water Resources Center (AWRC).
“Yakeshia has done an excellent job helping to enhance our web content and usability,” said Erin Scott, AWRC program manager. “We hired her to help us improve how we share information to stakeholders.”
Yakeshia started this summer with some experience in website development, and a lot of potential. Now, she’s ending the summer with lots of experience in HTML, CSS, and even some JavaScript.
One of the coolest projects she completed is an interactive site map showing where the Center currently collects water samples at local streams. The site icons can be clicked, and then a pop-up appears that shows the site name, USGS gaging station number if applicable, and the watershed that the site is in. For many of the sites, when the site name is clicked, the user can even see water quality data for that site.


Researchers Find that Added Salts Affect Stream Organisms
Salt is increasing in some Arkansas streams and rivers, and it comes from a variety of sources like pasture and urban land use, wastewater treatment plants, and even the natural weathering of rocks.
Many waterways in Arkansas have low salt concentrations, but even a small increase in salts might affect the organisms that inhabit those pristine waters.
Researchers Drs. Sally Entrekin with the University of Central Arkansas, Natalie Clay with Louisiana Tech University, and Michelle Evans-White with the University of Arkansas, and graduate student Brooke Howard Parker of the University of Arkansas wanted to know if small increases in salt concentrations in relatively pristine waters might affect microbial and macroinvertebrate decomposition of leaves.


USDA Announces $15 Million Public - Private Investment to Improve Critical Wetlands

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service today announced that the agency will award $13 million to projects in seven states to protect, restore and enhance wetlands on private and tribal agricultural lands. The projects are being funded under the Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership (WREP).

Today’s announcement includes high-priority watershed projects in Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee. Arkansas is the lead state for one project and also included in a project led by Tennessee.

“These locally-led partnerships are instrumental in achieving greater wetland acreage and maximizing their benefits to farmers, ranchers and the local and rural communities where wetlands exists,” Arkansas NRCS State Conservationist Mike Sullivan.


EPA Releases a New Tool for Mapping Environmental Justice
Too often, America’s low-income and minority communities bear the brunt of our country’s pollution. These environmental and public health threats make it harder for kids with asthma to learn in school, and for people impacted from pollution to lead active and healthy lives.

There are many ways EPA is working to protect these overburdened communities. For the past two years, we’ve been using a screening and mapping tool called EJSCREENto inform our work, whether its grant writing, policy decisions or enforcement. Today we take an important step forward by sharing EJSCREEN with the public, to broaden its impact, provide greater transparency in how environmental justice is considered, and to foster collaboration with partners.

EJSCREEN uses high resolution maps combined with demographic and environmental data to highlight places that may have higher environmental burdens and vulnerable populations. 

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Calendar of Events

August 29
EPA Small Systems Webinar - Treatment and Control for Manganese and Iron

August 30
EPA Water Research Webinar - Land Use, Environmental Stressors, and Water Resources: Degradation to Restoration

August 31
BWA Speaker Series - Brian Clark, USGS StreamStats Program
Fayetteville, AR

September 27-28
ANRC Nonpoint Source Pollution Meeting
Little Rock, AR

September 29

BWA Beaver Lake Watershed Symposium
Elkins, AR
Job Openings

City of Bentonville
City Engineer
Bentonville, AR

Beaver Watershed Alliance
Watershed Conservation Intern (contact John Pennington at john@beaver
Springdale, AR

Walton Family Foundation
Program Support Associate
Bentonville, AR

The Nature Conservancy
Director of Freshwater and Marine
Austin, TX


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

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