Water Quality

The Clean Water Act (Wikipedia Article) requires states to develop and maintain water quality standards.    The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) uses monitoring data to assess the waters of the state.  They are required by section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act to publish an Inventory of Impaired Waterbodies (IIW).   They are required by section 305(b) of the Clean Water Act to publish an Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report (IWQMA).

Clean Water Act Section 303(d) - Inventory of Impaired Waterbodies

This inventory generated by ADEQ is submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for approval.  It contains all of the sections of streams, rivers or lakes that are not meeting Arkansas water quality standards found in ADEQ's Regulation 2.   These inventories are available from ADEQ as PDF files.  We have combined and converted them into Excel files.  Furthermore, we have organized them by watershed on individual watershed pages, and you can see them mapped with the Interactive Watershed Viewer.

Clean Water Act Section 305(b) - IWQMA Report

This ADEQ report includes the inventory of impaired waters along with the location of monitoring stations, how waterbodies were monitored or evaluated, Arkansas' prioritization methodology for TMDL development, and a discussion of each ADEQ Planning Segment (which may include one or more 8-digit HUCs).  

Total Maximum Daily Loads

A Total Maximum Daily Load is a written document showing how the State or EPA determined how much to reduce 'point source' (Wikipedia) and 'nonpoint source' (Wikipedia) pollution in order  to keep an impaired section of stream, river or lake from exceeding Arkansas water quality standards found in ADEQ's Regulation 2.

Arkansas Groundwater

Don't forget about groundwater!  Making up on average 20% of the world's fresh water supply, groundwater (Wikipedia) is often used when freshwater is not available.  In Arkansas, agriculture places the biggest demands on groundwater.

Do Something!

It is easy to get lost in the bureaucracy, but there are other ways to learn about and improve the waterbodies of Arkansas.  Explore land management practiceswater-related programs and more on this site.  The links below will take you to the websites of other agencies.  



  • Clean Water Act Section 303(d) Impaired Waters Data Update here
  • Arkansas’s Final/ Draft Impaired Waterbodies – 303(d) List by Year here
  • AR Water Newsletter, Summer, 2015 here
  • NPS Management Plan here
  • The projects presented at the 2015 annual NPS conference are located here

Interactive Map

Interactive Watershed Viewer
Explore your county or watershed with this flash-based interactive map.  View over 25 geographic and water-related layers. Open Interactive Watershed Viewer.