Lakeside Watershed Opportunity Assessment

Lakeside Watershed Opportunity Assessment Lakeside Watershed Opportunity Assessment

The Lakeside Watershed Opportunity Assessment (LWOA) Program is a landowner outreach program taking place in the Lakeside Area Watershed of the Beaver Lake Watershed, which includes the Lower White River and Brush Creek. The project, which covers parts of Benton, Washington, Madison, and Carroll counties, seeks to improve water quality by providing resources and assistance to watershed landowners, residents, and stakeholders for the implementation of voluntary best management practices (BMPs).

BMPs can include anything from conducting stream restoration or putting land in conservation, to using Low-Impact Development practices for stormwater management or pasture management practices. One of the outcomes of this project will be a map showing priority areas for the implementation of Best Management Practices (BMPs) and where these areas intersect with willing landowners who will provide opportunities to put these practices in place. This map will be used by BWA, as well as other organizations, and will be made available for use by city and county officials to prioritize water quality improvement projects in the watershed and aid in securing resources for these projects.

The programs carried out through the LWOA will provide current information about the water quality in this watershed, seek input about specific water quality concerns and improvement opportunities through community input meetings and conservation site visits with landowners, connect landowners with resources for voluntary BMP implementation, and connect willing landowners with areas of priority conservation to maximize water quality improvements. Program workshops will include topics such as general information about watersheds, relevant information for streamside landowners, how to build a rain garden to reduce property runoff, forest management BMPs, and more.

A project newsletter is mailed out to the streamside landowners in this watershed to provide project updates and information about upcoming meetings, workshops, and stewardship events. The newsletter will also highlight different BMPs and discuss relevant issues related to this watershed. Additionally, landowners may request a free property conservation site visit to invite BWA staff out to answer questions about specific property concerns, as well as help them achieve their soil and water conservation goals by connecting them with appropriate resources.

Community input is integral to this assessment, and this program offers local community members an opportunity to provide feedback, ask questions, and express concerns. Project input meeting dates are listed on the flyer, and the fact sheet provides a brief summary of the program. For questions or more information about the program please contact Beaver Watershed Alliance at info@beaverwatershedalliance.org or by calling (479) 750-8007.

The program is sponsored by the Walton Family Foundation, Rogers Water Utilities, the City of Springdale, Tyson Foods, the City of Bentonville, Carroll-Boone Water District, Beaver Water District, Farm Bureau, the Watershed Conservation Resource Center, the City of Fayetteville, and Benton/Washington Regional Public Water Authority.

Lakeside Watershed Opportunity Assessment Maps

The following series of watershed maps for the Lakeside Area provide a visual rendering of community input, landowner engagement, watershed data, best management practice establishment, and priorities for water quality improvement. The 7 maps shown here include Community Input, Conservation Actions, Unpaved Road Priorities, Pasture Priorities, Onsite Wastewater with Karst Features, Onsite Wastewater Density, and Conservation Priorities. Two additional maps are in progress, and include Streambank Erosion and Shoreline Erosion. These maps provide a glimpse into potential water quality improvement opportunities, issues, priorities, and interested landowners on a spatial scale. Having these maps available increases the ability of Beaver Watershed Alliance, and other groups working for clean water in Beaver Lake and its watershed, to secure funding necessary to assist landowners with voluntary water quality improvements through the use of soil and water conservation practices.

Community Input

The Community Input Map shows community-specific comments made by watershed landowners, decision-makers, and stakeholders from a series of meetings held throughout the Lakeside Area Watershed. Meetings took place initially with project introduction meetings in Winter 2015 and project input and feedback meetings in Summer of 2015. Comments reflected in the map include opportunities for specific water quality improvements and general points of interest and concern. The map also shows highlighted parcels of participating landowners.

Conservation Actions

The Conservation Actions Map displays landowner engagement for landowners participating in the Lakeside Watershed Opportunity Assessment program, as well as some of the specific voluntary best management practices that have been voluntarily implemented by landowners during this project.

Unpaved Road Priorities

The Unpaved Road Priorities Map displays landowner engagement and county-maintained unpaved roads for priority for best practices. The prioritization is based on the average slope of the road, with the roads highlighted in dark blue being the highest priority due to their steepness. In addition, field-verified priority roads based on information from the Benton County Road Department, field observations, and community input are emphasized for roads that require more frequent maintenance. These include Cloverdale Road, Gramling Road, Sallie Road, Weaver Lane, Sunrise Cove Road, Highland Lake Loop, Pug Gayer Road, and the intersection of Madison 7304 and Madison 7025. In addition, Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission data on “Sensitive Areas” and “Sensitive Streams” for aquatic and terrestrial species are shown on this map to illustrate the intersection between these areas and unpaved roads.

Pasture Priorities

The Pasture Priorities Map shows the location of pasture land cover in the watershed, as well as the location of priority pastures for pasture management. This prioritization is based on slope, and pastures with a higher priority for best practices due to their steepness appear dark blue or red on the map. Soil type also appears as an overlay on this map to illustrate the intersection between soil type and slope for a stronger prioritization.

Onsite Wastewater with Karst Features

The Onsite Wastewater with Karst Features map shows the location of sites with onsite wastewater treatment infrastructure (namely septic systems), along with karst sensitivity. Onsite wastewater systems data for Benton County shows permitted septic systems in the county, and data for Washington, Madison, and Carroll counties is based on Arkansas Highway Transportation Department Rural Residence data, which is used as a proxy for septic system locations by the Arkansas Department of Health. The map contains 2670 unique data points for onsite wastewater treatment facilities. Karst sensitivity is based on a model for groundwater sensitivity and is shown for Benton and Washington counties, with more sensitive areas highlighted in red.

Onsite Wastewater Density

The Onsite Wastewater Density map shows the density in systems per 10 square miles for septic systems. The darker shaded areas indicate a higher number of systems in a given area. The data set shows combined information for permitted onsite wastewater systems in Benton County and Arkansas Highway Transportation Department Rural Residence data, which is used as a proxy for septic system locations by the Arkansas Department of Health, for Washington, Madison, and Carroll counties.

Conservation Priorities

The Conservation Priorities map shows priority basins for preservation with an overlay of priority parcels for conservation. Sub-watersheds are colored according to priorities for preservation, and priority parcels for conservation have been assigned a numeric value, with 10 being the highest priority for conservation. In addition, Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission Sensitive Areas for aquatic and terrestrial species are shown, along with ANHC Sensitive Streams.