Natural Resources

Efficiently and responsibly managing and protecting our water and land resources for the sustainability, health, safety, and economic benefit of the State of Arkansas

Arkansas Nutrient Reduction Strategy

Click here to submit a public comment for the ANRS.

Click here to view the ANRS Fact Sheet.

Public Comment Period Open on the Arkansas Nutrient Reduction Strategy

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Division (NRD) has scheduled public meetings in several regions of the state to provide information about the “Arkansas Nutrient Reduction Strategy” (ANRS). The meetings are being conducted in areas where watersheds have the most potential for total nitrogen and total phosphorous reduction. There are seven of these watersheds. Pre-registration is not required to attend the meetings. Below are the meeting dates, locations, times, and watersheds:

Click here to view the Arkansas Nutrient Reduction Strategy

2022 Arkansas Nutrient Reduction Strategy Update

In 2018, staff from Arkansas Natural Resources Division began the process of updating the Arkansas Nutrient Reduction Strategy (ANRS). Over the last several years a new strategic prioritization methodology for evaluating nutrient trends across was developed. The statistical methodology evaluates water quality monitoring data availability and ecological thresholds to determine a tiered classification system. Tier 1 watersheds demonstrated the highest need for nutrient reduction and thus are top priority for 319(h) funding. Tier 2 watersheds often had limited water quality, but data indicates nutrient reduction are warranted, which also prioritizes 319(h) funding. Tier 3 and Tier 4 watersheds had fewest lines of supporting evidence suggesting nutrient reduction and will not be prioritized for project funding. Additionally, the revision of the 2022 ANRS includes specific and strategic framework for goals and strategies for the implementation of the ANRS.

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A stakeholder meeting was held on March 2, 2022 The presentation can be found here.  Stakeholder comments submitted can be found below:

University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture

US Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Division

Arkansas Ozark Waterkeeper and Buffalo River Watershed Alliance

Ozark Society

Kings River Watershed Partnership

Arkansas State University

Glenda Allison

Click here to view the Arkansas Nutrient Reduction Strategy

Initiated by the 2014 Arkansas Water Plan update and Arkansas's participation in the Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Task Force, the Arkansas Nutrient Reduction Strategy (ANRS) is a strategic framework that outlines opportunities, both regulatory and voluntary, which are available to improve overall aquatic health and viability in Arkansas waters for recreational, economic, environmental, and human health benefits. The ANRS is not a regulatory document and does not supersede existing water laws governing water quality issues in Arkansas. Rather, it focuses on outreach and "grass-roots" implementation of nutrient reduction activities. Arkansas has invested significant effort to address point and non-point source nutrient loading through state, federal, and private partnerships. Partnerships with local, county, state, federal, non-profit, academic, and for-profit private sector entities are necessary for: a) mobilization and coordination of available resources, b) consistent interpretation and implementation of water management policies, c) long-term support at the national, state, and local levels, and d) advancement of science-based technologies, methods, and new nutrient reduction techniques.

The strategic framework recognizes that achievement of water quality goals requires iterative and collaborative processes which, when implemented over time, result in incremental progress toward improvement goals. Those processes must be adaptable to changing conditions and should adhere to the following guiding principles

  • Strengthening existing programs;
  • Promoting voluntary, incentive-based, cost-effective nutrient reduction measures;
  • Incorporating adaptive management and flexible strategic planning;
  • Leveraging available financial and technical resources;
  • Pursuing market-based opportunities and solutions.

An integrated approach, as defined in this strategic framework, represents a "sustained multi-discipline, multi-sector effort to reduce point and non-point nutrient loading and improve water quality through publicly supported strategies." These efforts require consistent cooperation and communication on the "ground-level" and represent a "bottoms-up" versus "top-down" approach to nutrient reduction. Arkansas's Conservation Districts are on the "ground-level," active in local communities, and pioneer the implementation of innovative practices. These "grass-root" connections are essential to working with private, state, and federal entities to improve water quality through public policy, public outreach and education, project implementation research, and water quality monitoring in priority watersheds.

The purpose of the ANRS is to reduce nutrient concentrations in Arkansas’s watersheds, providing local benefits and helping to shrink the Gulf Hypoxic Zone. This goal will be accomplished by working closely with our stakeholders to adaptively manage and implement relevant practices and programs to safeguard state and regional economic prosperity, environmental quality, and recreational opportunities for current and future generations.  The three main goals of ANRS are:

  1. Increase or maintain downward nutrient trends in Tier I watersheds.
  2. Enhance water quality monitoring and increase or maintain downward nutrient trends in Tier 2 watersheds.
  3. Continue efforts to reduce nutrients in all watersheds.

Related Links to Nutrient Reduction Activities

Arkansas Nonpoint Pollution State Management Plan
Arkansas Phosphorus Index
Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts
Arkansas Discovery Farms

Tate Wentz, Water Quality Section Manager
Arkansas Department of Agriculture
Natural Resources Division
10421 W. Markham Street
Little Rock, Arkansas 72205
Phone: (501) 682-3914 Fax: (501) 682-3991
Email: tate.wentz@agriculture.arkansas.gov

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