History and Strategy


The Beaver Watershed Alliance was formed in 2011 from recommendations in the Beaver Lake Watershed Protection Strategy. The Alliance has a 20-member Board of Directors. We are a 501c3 nonprofit watershed group, headquarterd in Elkins, AR. 

We forget that the water cycle
and the life cycle are one.

~Jacques Yves Cousteau


Originally commissioned by the Northwest Arkansas Council in 2009, the Beaver Lake Watershed Protection Strategy is the guiding document for water conservation and watershed stewardship for Beaver Lake. The Strategy is a US EPA accepted 9-Element Plan. The Alliance has adopted the document and facilitated watershed management activities, based on recommendations from the Strategy.

Key Findings

  • Segments of War Eagle Creek, West Fork, and Lower White Rivers are listed as impaired by the EPA.
  • With continued urban development, there could be an estimated 14% increase in nutrient pollutants and a 21% increase in sediments to Beaver Lake.
    Economic costs associated with drinking water treatment are estimated to significantly increase as water quality degrades, potentially affecting costs to Northwest Arkansas residents and businesses.
  • Top concerns are stream bank erosion in upstream tributaries, stormwater runoff and excess nutrients from urban and pasture areas, poor construction site management, and increases in impervious areas associated with urban development.

Key Watershed Protection Strategy Elements

  1. Establishing a Beaver Lake Watershed Council (now the Beaver Watershed Alliance)
  2. Implementation of core best management practices
  3. Development of a developer and contractor’s lake protection certification program
  4. Establishing an education and stewardship program
  5. Devising a monitoring and adaptive management program


Who is the Beaver Lake Watershed Protection Strategy for?

The Protection Strategy serves as an overall guiding document for any group working within water conservation on the Beaver Lake Watershed. In this sense, the document belongs to all 500,000 Arkansans who receive their drinking water from Beaver Lake. Stakeholder groups in nonprofit, environmental science, government, agriculture, and utility services realms are partnering on projects in coordination with the Protection Strategy to improve water quality in Beaver Lake and its watershed.

Who maintains the document?

The Beaver Watershed Alliance has adopted the document for revision and periodic updates. The Protection Strategy will remain “evergreen” in that new and important issues, water quality data, and emerging pollutants will be addressed on a repeating cycle and in a timely manner.