Annual Conference

Arkansas Water Resources Center Conference 2017

2017 AWRC Annual Water Research Conference

July 25-26, 2017

Register Now!

This year's conference will have professionals from across the region speaking on water issues relevant to Arkansas and surrounding states. It'll be a great opportunity to learn about current research and develop relationships with potential collaborators!


This year's agenda will cover these important water supply issues:

  • Source water protection
  • Science and policy in the Illinois River Watershed
  • Urban water management
  • Agricultural water quality and irrigation management
  • Current research by the US Geological Survey

The Arkansas chapter of the American Water Resources Association (AR-AWRA) will be partnering with the AWRC by holding their annual symposium on the afternoon of the second day. The topic of the symposium is “Dam Safety and Water Quality Supply Issues in Arkansas”. Those who attend the AR-AWRA symposium will automatically become a member of that organization, free of charge!

Click here to view the preliminary program.


Why Sponsor or Exhibit? Gain exposure for your products and services at our annual water research conference! Researchers, students, teachers, government agencies, non-profits, utilities, and consulting firms attend our conference.

Bronze Level:$300; includes a 6-foot draped table, one complimentary registration, logo recognition in conference materials and program.

Silver Level:$600; incldues a second 6-foot draped table if desired, two complimentary registrations, logo recognition in conference materials, a half page advert in conference program.

Gold Level:$1,000; includes one or two 6-foot draped tables if desired, 3 complimentary registrations, logo recognition in conference materials, a full page advert in conference program.


The conference will be held at the Fayetteville Town Center, the same place as last year. This venue is at the historic downtown square in Fayetteville, near the UA campus and surrounded by the beautiful Ozark Mountains. The address for the Town Center is 15 West Mountain in Fayetteville, Arkansas, 72701. For more information about the Town Center, visit their website at .


If you’re coming from out of town, you can reserve a room at the Chancellor Hotel, just one block away from the Town Center. Use the reservation code “AWRC” to receive the $91/night government rate. To book under this reservation code, you must book your room by June 24, 2017. You can book your room by going to

fayetteville town center AWRC conference venue

Fayetteville Town Center

Stay tuned for more information, or contact Erin Scott at with any questions.

2016 AWRC Annual Water Research Conference: Post-Conference Wrap-up

This year’s conference was one for the record books with the highest attendance to date! The conference theme was “Nutrients, Water Quality and Harmful Algal Blooms”. Over 160 people from research, state agencies, engineering firms and many others came to learn, network and share their insights from around the country. 


Session Topics

The opening session covered the complexities of water quality management, and really set the stage for the rest of the conference. John Lewis, with the National Weather Service, gave us perspective on weather patterns and precipitation, which can have large impacts on hydrology and water quality. Next, Rick Cruse of Iowa State University (pictured below) discussed some of the major challenges that exist in addressing water quality problems. Then Heath Ward, a member of the Arkansas Nutrient Trading Advisory Panel, talked about how nutrient trading could play a role in solving some of our water quality issues.

 AWRC Conference 2016 Rick Cruse

During the rest of the first day, we heard talks about how nutrients get transported through different systems, how landscape characteristics across a watershed can influence water quality, and topics important to nutrient criteria development.

The second day of the conference was devoted to Harmful Algal Blooms and cyanotoxins. Cyanotoxins are toxic compounds that can be produced by cyanobacteria, which are bacteria that have characteristics of algae. Top experts in the field Hans Paerl of the University of North Carolina and Alan Wilson of Auburn University delivered the keynote presentations (pictured below).

AWRC Conference 2016 Hans Paerl and Alan Wilson

For the rest of the second day, we learned about techniques to monitor HABs and cyanotoxins, how lake managers can effectively respond to algal blooms, and some of the current regulations of cyanotoxins and the risks to public health. HABs and cyanotoxins are a growing concern in this part of the country. We’re grateful to all the speakers including those from other parts of the country who gave insight into what’s worked and what hasn’t worked in their regions.

A big thanks to all the speakers and session moderators. The success of this year’s conference lies with them!


Poster Competitions

This year we had several excellent poster presentations by undergraduate students in the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program as well as graduate research students. There was close competition in both groups, and the top two undergraduate and graduate students were awarded with monetary prizes!

REU competition: Congratulations to Abbie Lasater and advisor Dr. Brian Haggard of the University of Arkansas for their poster titled “Sediment Phosphorus Flux at Lake Tenkiller, Oklahoma: How Important are Internal Sources”. Second place went to Micalea Klaus of Ottawa University and advisor Dr. John Willson with their poster titled “Effects of Non-Native Vegetation on Aquatic Communities and Prairie Associated Amphibians”.

Graduate student competition: Congratulations to Elise Coffelt and Nate Weston and their advisor Dr. Sally Entrekin of the University of Central Arkansas who took first place in the graduate student competition for their poster titled “Restoration Proposal for University Stream and Surrounding Landscape”. Second place went to Bernardo Zacouteguy and his advisor Dr. Wen Zhang for their poster titled “Assessing Biodegradable Organic Matter in Source Drinking Water”.


Thank you Conference Sponsors

Of course, none of this would have been possible without the strong support from our sponsors. A big thanks to OTT Hydromet for sponsoring the Tuesday night social where attendees could have their fill of pizza and drinks. Another big thanks to Stream Smart, a program of Ozarks Water Watch for their support. Also thanks to Beaver Water District, CH2M, GBMc & Associates, Central Arkansas Water, Eureka Water Probes, Beaver Watershed Alliance, US Geological Survey and the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture. 

Past Conferences

Each year, AWRC holds a watersheds and research conference. This conference draws over 100-150 researchers, students, agency personnel, municipal personnel, interested citizens and many other water quality stakeholders from around the State and region. Conference topics have ranged from drinking water treatment processes to agricultural water management in the delta in eastern Arkansas. See the list below for programs from past conferences.   


Past Conference Programs

2016 July 26-27  Nutrients, Water Quality, and Harmful Algal Blooms
2015 July 21-22  Meeting Arkansas's Water Needs Now and Into the Future
2014 July 15-16  Watersheds, Wicked Problems and Water Words
2013 May 14-15  Watershed Research and Ecological Design in the Ozarks
2012 July 11-12  Arkansas Water Planning and Reservoir Management
2011 July 6-7  The Illinois River and the Statement of Joint Principles and Actions
2010 April 13-14  Water Quality of Groundwater, Reservoirs and Restored Streams
2009 April 14-15  Transboundary Watersheds, Nutrient Hotspots and Riparian Buffers
2008 April 22-23  Watershed Management and Nutrient Loading