UACES Facebook Arkansas Water Quality - Watershed, Agriculture, Research Data
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Mike Daniels, PhD
Professor of Environmental
   Quality and Nutrient Mgt

2301 S. University Avenue
Rm 307F
Little Rock, AR  72204-4940

Phone: 501-671-2281
Fax: 501-671-2297
Email: mdaniels@uaex.eduDr. Mike Daniels' Linkedin profile
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Water Quality

Arkansas Ecoregions Map - Ecological Design Group
Specific standards are set for each of the EPA's seven ecoregions of Arkansas. [Image courtesy of Ecological Design Group]

Water has many uses, such as for recreation, drinking, fisheries, agriculture and industry.  Each of these designated uses has different defined chemical, physical and biological standards necessary to support that use.  For example, we expect higher standards for water we drink and swim in compared to that used in agriculture and industry.

Water Quality standards include criteria for minerals, bacteria, clarity, temperature, oil and grease, acidity or alkalinity, dissolved oxygen, nutrients, and toxic substances to name a few.  The federal Clean Water Act requires each state to develop standards to protect its lakes, reservoirs, rivers, streams, creeks, and ditches.

The Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission (APCEC) is the environmental policy-making body for Arkansas. With guidance from the Governor, the Legislature, the EPA and others, the Commission determines the Water Quality standards for the state and the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) implements those standards.

FSA-9528 What is Water Quality? | Arkansas

What is Water Quality?

Dr. Mike Daniels explains the importance of water quality, how it is evaluated and the options for monitoring water quality.

Watershed Information


Drinking Water


Water Quality Assessment

  • ADEQ
    Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ)
    • ADEQ Surface Water Quality Monitoring Data Search Page – Searchable database to view water quality data from over 160 stations across the state over the past 22 years. If you don't know which stations to look for, you can search to view all stations within a county.

    • ADEQ Water Quality Standards Review – The federal government requires that each state review its Standards every three years to study how water is used and to consider whether limits on pollutants should be tightened. Water Quality Standards are essentially numerical limits on pollutants which affect how we use water. The Standards include limitations on minerals, bacteria, clarity, temperature, oiliness, acidity or alkalinity, oxygen, nutrients and toxic substances.
  • USGS
    U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
    • Groundwater Watch: Arkansas - The Active Groundwater Level Network contains water levels and well information from more than 20,000 wells that have been measured by the USGS or USGS cooperators at least once within the past 13 months. This network includes all of these wells, regardless of measurement frequency, aquifer monitored, or the monitoring objective.

    • National Water Information System: Mapper – A mapping tool that allows you to view surface water, groundwater, spring, atmospheric, and other monitoring sites. The data is clickable when zoomed to level 11 or greater.

    • WaterWatch: Flow – Displays maps, graphs, and tables describing real-time, recent, and past streamflow conditions for the United States. The real-time information generally is updated on an hourly basis.

    • Water Quality Watch – Displays real-time water quality parameters for the nation or on a state level, including temperature, specific conductance, pH, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, nitrate, and discharge.

    • USGS Water Quality Data – Choose between real-time or daily data, then select Arkansas (as "station name" in real-time, or the "site location" check box in daily) and check the parameters you would like to view (in daily data only).

    • Current Conditions for Arkansas: Streamflow – A table of the USGS Gage Stations in Arkansas and the current streamflow levels.