By Ryan McGeeney, UA System Division of Agriculture
By now, producers across Arkansas, particularly in the northeastern counties of the state, are familiar with the efforts of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture and the Cooperative Extension Service to help farmers and ranchers prepare for, attenuate and recover from the effects of seasonal rainfall and out-and-out flooding.
What may be less commonly known are the Division of Agriculture’s efforts to help metropolitan areas deal with the increasingly common flooding events associated with stormwater runoff in developed and developing towns and cities.
Katie Teague, an agricultural agent with the Washington County Cooperative Extension Service, began meeting with members of the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission in 2002, as several cities connected by what is known as the “urbanized area” began preparing for federal Clean Water Act regulations that would go into effect in 2003.
“Stormwater regulations truly began in 1999,” said Teague. “Implementation of ‘Phase I’ of the regulations only affected one large urban area in Arkansas, and that was Little Rock.”