Federal agency renews support for Arkansas Water Resources Center

Nov. 4, 2014
Contact Information:

Brian Haggard, Arkansas Water Resources Center

479-575-2879 / haggard@uark.edu

Dave Edmark, Division of Agriculture Communications
479-575-6940 / dedmark@uark.edu

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Fast facts:
• The Arkansas Water Resources Center is one of 54 such centers around the nation.
• The center is currently supporting eight water resource projects in Arkansas.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Arkansas Water Resources Center passed its three-year evaluation and will be eligible to continue receiving federal funding. The AWRC, a unit of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, received its annual base grant of $92,355 from the U.S. Geological Survey.

The AWRC is one of 54 water resources research centers across the nation that the federal program funds to support its work. The AWRC and the other centers use the funding to train new scientists, disseminate research results to water managers and the public and cooperate with other institutions in their regions on water issues. The AWRC is part of the National Institutes for Water Resources, which is a nationwide network of water resources research centers.

The federal funds currently support eight projects at the AWRC. The center’s research projects have studied irrigation and runoff, innovative domestic wastewater disposal systems, groundwater modeling, land-use mapping, erosion and pollution, water quality and ecosystems. It operates a fee-based water quality laboratory, sponsors an annual water conference and monitors water quality in the important Illinois River and White River watersheds.

The center’s projects are determined with the participation of a technical advisory committee of professionals from educational institutions, environmental organizations, water supply districts and government agencies in Arkansas.

“This is a unique federal program which addresses state defined water issues but also lays the foundation to address water issues of national focus,” said Brian Haggard, AWRC director and a professor of biological and agricultural engineering. “This federal program also requires that the state invest $2 for every federal dollar spent on research, so it is a joint effort between the federal government and the state of Arkansas. The next call for proposals will be going out soon, and we anticipate funding two faculty research proposals and up to six student research support proposals.”

"The AWRC represents a significant component of the Division of Agriculture's efforts to address the myriad of water-related issues facing Arkansas,” said Clarence Watson, director of the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station.

“The AWRC provides important services to the state of Arkansas. This center also offers educational experiences for students, and the research they conduct has the potential to have a national impact,” said John English, dean of the College of Engineering. “I commend Dr. Haggard for the work he has devoted to this valuable center.”

According to the National Institutes for Water Resources, state centers such as the AWRC are able to address the entire spectrum of water issues and can serve as objective brokers of information by focusing on science and examining long-term consequences of policies and practices. The water resources research centers across the country work collaboratively with the U.S. Geological Survey to address federal water interests.

The University of Arkansas is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.