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Lower Mississippi-Gulf Water Science Center -- Arkansas
Water-Quality Data Program
Short Title: QW Data Program
Project Chief: Dennis Evans
Cooperators: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Little Rock District, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Arkansas Natural Resources Commission, Arkansas Geological Survey, Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Central Arkansas Water, Hot Springs Village
Project Time Frame: 1962 - present
Water resource planning and water-quality assessment require a nationwide base level of relatively standardized information. For intelligent planning and realistic assessment of the water resource, the chemical and physical quality of the rivers, streams, and reservoirs must be defined and monitored. The USGS collects and analyzes chemical, physical, and biological properties of water, sediment and tissue samples from across the Nation. The purpose of the water-quality data program in Arkansas is to operate a network of water-quality stations to provide chemical concentrations, loads, and time trends. The study is designed to collect water-quality data sufficient to provide a long-term database so that the general response of the hydrologic system to natural climatic variations and induced stresses is known and potential problems can be defined for management of the resource.
Photograph of USGS personnel collecting water-quality samples.
The study collects water-quality samples from approximately 70 sites on rivers, streams, and reservoirs. Sample frequencies vary from monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, and during storm events. Most samples are analyzed by the USGS National Water-Quality Laboratory in Lakewood, Colorado for inorganics, trace metals, and organics. Selected streams are sampled continuously "in situ" using water-quality monitors that measure and store field parameters such as temperature, pH, specific conductance, dissolved oxygen, and turbidity. The data is stored in the USGS database, posted to the USGS Water-Quality Data for Arkansas web site (http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/qw/), and published in an annual data report.
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