Document Type

Technical Report

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Water Quality, Trends, Phosphorus, Nitrogen, Sediment, Illinois River Watershed, Beaver Reservoir Watershed


Northwest Arkansas contains two 319 priority watersheds that the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission has identified as being impacted by point source and nonpoint source pollution (i.e., phosphorus, nitrogen, and sediment). This project specifically focused on determining water quality trends at select sites within the Illinois River (HUC# 11110103) and Beaver Reservoir (HUC# 11010001) priority watersheds, including Ballard Creek, Osage Creek, Illinois River, White River, West Fork White River and the Kings River where sufficient constituent data were available. Water quality trends were analyzed using flow‐adjusted constituent concentrations of phosphorus, nitrogen, sediment, sulfate and chloride, and parametric and non‐parametric statistical techniques to determine if constituent concentrations were increasing, decreasing or not significantly changing over time. Overall, flow‐adjusted concentrations of phosphorus and sediment have been decreasing across these watersheds based upon both statistical approaches. The decrease in phosphorus was likely the most important observation, because most water quality concerns in this region have focused on elevated phosphorus concentrations in these transboundary watersheds. These trends can be used along with other watershed information to improve the knowledge of how past, current, and future management decisions have influenced the watershed.

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