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The Arkansas Water Resources Center publishes this e-newsletter each month to highlight research, faculty, news and important events.
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August 2015
AWRC Solicits Research Pre-Proposals
AWRC is soliciting pre-proposals for the U.S. Geological Survey 104B program. The goal of this program is to address the most pressing water resource issues in Arkansas. We do this by funding research projects by faculty and students at colleges and universities across the State.
 
This year, we are soliciting two different types of pre-proposals:
1. faculty research
2. student research with a faculty advisor.

This is a great funding opportunity for research related to water quality or quantity issues in the State. We plan to fund two faculty research projects for approximately $25,000 each and six student projects for approximately $5,000 each.
 
You can access the application document here or visit our website for more information. Pre-proposals must be submitted to AWRC no later than October 30, 2015.
USGS Provides Long-Term Water Quality Data for the Nation's Streams and Rivers
The US Geological Survey developed an online tool that provides long-term water quality data for over 100 streams and rivers across the Nation.  Three of these sites are in Arkansas and include North Sylamore Creek near Fifty-Six (USGS 07060710; image below), the Buffalo River near Boxley (USGS 07055646) and Arkansas River at David D Terry Lock and Dam near Little Rock (USGS 07263620).
 
The online tool is interactive and allows users to download datasets on streamflow, nutrients, sediments and also loads. These datasets can be viewed graphically as well, showing how things have changed over time. For some sites, data is available starting in 1980!
 
This tool also has a component dedicated to the Mississippi River and its major tributaries. The interactive map can be used to quickly look at how different sections of the Mississippi River Basin contribute to nutrient loading into the Gulf of Mexico. For example, did you know that the Arkansas River contributed almost 4% of the nitrogen and phosphorus load from 1993 through 2013?
 
The USGS developed this tool as part of their National Water-Quality Assessment Program. Their main goal is to provide researchers and resource managers with timely information on the quality of water in the US and how it’s changing over time as a result of natural processes and human activities.
AWRC Highlights Storm Drain Art
This is the second installment of the AWRC featuring storm drain art that can be found throughout the state, either through the UpStream Art project in northwest Arkansas or the DrainSmart project in Little Rock. You may recognize this month’s art work (image below) because it was one of the designs selected for the AWRC conference t-shirts. The purpose of painting storm drain murals is to draw attention to the usually discreet concrete and iron storm-water infrastructure with the hope that people stop and think about where the water flows after it enters a storm drain. If we understand that stormwater flows untreated to creeks, streams, rivers and lakes, then we’ll be more conscious of potential pollutants that can enter those waterways.

This month’s design is by Amber Perrodin and Olivia Trimble and is called “Ozark Mountains”.  The art can be found at JB Hunt Park in Springdale. Amber is an active member of Springdale community by creating the Springdale Art Initiative and the social media movement, Team Springdale. She is also a leading force of The Little Craft Show of Fayetteville and Springdale.  Olivia, of Sleet City Signwriting, is a painter that works hard to keep the old tradition of hand-painted signs alive. The two worked together on the design, combining their expertise in design and lettering. They decided that a classic Ozark Mountain backdrop and a meandering creek would portray the message to passersby of the importance of keeping Arkansas’s water clean. The banners above and below the sign read “Drains to Creek” in English and Spanish, explaining that the water that enters storm drains flows directly into nearby waterways.

What is something you can do to help protect our water from urban storm-water runoff? When rain falls on a roof or pavement, its momentum increases and gives it more power to wash pollutants into storm drains. You can direct home gutter downspouts away from paved surfaces, towards grassy areas. This allows runoff water to slow down and gives it time to soak into the soil. Consider using rain barrels or installing a rain garden to capture the rain as it flows off roofs and other impervious surfaces.
For more information on the UpStream Art project managed through the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service in Northwest Arkansas, visit: nwaupstreamart.com or Facebook at /nwaupstreamart.

EPA Region 6 Stormwater Conference Solicits Poster Abstracts
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 6 and the City of Hot Springs is hosting the 17th Annual Stormwater Conference on October 18-22, 2015.
 
There will be a poster contest during the conference to highlight green infrastructure (GI) and low-impact development (LID) projects in Arkansas, and other states in EPA Region 6. If you utilize GI or LID activities for your business, municipality or research projects, EPA wants to hear about it.

Submit an abstract for the poster session by September 25th. For more information, visit the conference webpage.
Fairey Studies How Water Quality Impacts Drinking Water Treatment
Dr. Julian Fairey is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Arkansas. Fairey received funding for his research titled “Preparing Drinking Water Utilities on Beaver Lake Reservoir to Meet Disinfection Byproduct Regulations: The Impact of Continued Nutrient Enrichments” from the Arkansas Water Resources Center through the US Geological Survey 104B program.
 
The Problem: When nutrients enter a lake or reservoir, like Beaver Lake, algae grows, and the more nutrients the more algal growth that happens. This can be a problem for drinking water treatment plants because organic matter like algae reacts with disinfectants, such as chlorine or even chlorine dioxide, during the water treatment process and can form various chemical compounds, generically referred to as disinfection byproducts.
 
So What?: Some groups of disinfection byproducts are regulated in drinking waters because of their widespread occurrence and concerns with public health issues, such as bladder cancer. Increased inputs of nutrients to Beaver Lake, the drinking water source for over 400,000 people in Northwest Arkansas, may increase the potential to form disinfection byproducts during treatment.
 
The Research Question: Fairey and his team wanted to know, how do nutrient enrichment and increased algal growth affect disinfection byproduct formation during the drinking water treatment process?
 
The Methods: Fairey’s team collected water from the intake of the Beaver Water District drinking water treatment plant in Northwest Arkansas. Nutrients were added to make algae grow to different levels in the water. The waters were then treated with chlorine dioxide and aluminum sulfate to simulate how the water is treated at Beaver Water District. Next, Fairey’s team chlorinated the raw and treated waters and measured disinfection byproduct formation, with a focus trichloromethane – one regulated compound.
 
The Findings: Results showed algal growth increased with increasing phosphorus added, suggesting that algal growth in Beaver Lake was limited by how much phosphorus was in the water. However, algae were most abundant with high amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus added together. As expected, the water with the most algae produced the highest amount of trichloromethane when treated with chlorine dioxide. However, the most important finding was more algae in the water meant that it was harder to remove disinfection byproduct precursors. This means that drinking water reservoirs with increased algal growth from nutrient enrichment will be more expensive to treat.
 
The Benefits: Fairey’s research provides information to drinking water treatment plants about how source water quality can influence the production of disinfection byproducts. Furthermore, this information can be used to help guide nutrient management strategies in the effort to protect source waters and public health.
 
Dr. Fairey published his research in the journal Environmental Science: Processes and Impacts.

Waters of the U.S. Rule Blocked by Federal Judge
David Bennett, Delta Farm Press

The EPA and Army Corps of Engineers plan to implement the controversial Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule has been put on ice by North Dakota Judge Ralph Erickson. Late Thursday (Aug. 27), Erickson agreed to a preliminary injunction sought by 13 states suing to block the WOTUS rule, saying it is “exceptionally expansive.”
 
The judge’s ruling came less than a day prior to WOTUS taking effect.
 
The 13 states that will be spared the WOTUS rule, at least temporarily, include: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

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Calendar of Events

September 17
BWA/WCRC Cato Springs Invasive Plant Removal Event
Fayetteville, AR

September 19
ABLE Beaver Lake Games
Rogers, AR

September 23
NWA Open Space Plan Public Input Workshop
Rogers, AR

September 23-24
ANRC Stakeholder and Project Review Meeting
Little Rock, AR

September 24
NWA Open Space Plan Public Input Workshop
Fayetteville, AR

September 24
BWA/WCRC Mullins Creek Rain Garden Maintenance
Rogers, AR

September 25
BWA Beaver Lake Watershed Symposium
Huntsville, AR

September 26
IRWP Waterways and Trails Bike Ride
Cave Springs, AR

September 26
Beaver Lake Cleanup
Rogers, AR

September 29
EPA Small Systems Webinar Series
Online

September 30
EPA Water Research Webinar
Online

October 14-15
IRWP 60th Midwest Groundwater Conference
Bentonville, AR

October 18-22
EPA Region 6 Stormwater Conference
Hot Springs, AR

December 1-3
SWCS Nutrient Management and Edge of Field Monitoring Conference
Memphis, TN

May 2-6, 2016
NWQMC National Water Monitoring Conference
Hot Springs, AR

June 21-23
UCOWR/NIWR Annual Water Resources Conference
Pensacola Beach, FL
Job Openings

Garver
Project Manager - Water
Norman, OK
Project Manager - Water
Fayetteville, AR

The Nature Conservancy
Wetland Restoration Specialist
Little Rock, AR

Chemtura
Environmental Engineer
El Dorado, AR