Ozarks Water Watch is a nonprofit organization that works to preserve the water quality of upper White River watershed, located in Southwest Missouri and Northwest Arkansas which include the rivers, streams and four major impoundments: Beaver, Table Rock, Taneycomo and Bull Shoals Lakes. Formed in late 2001 as the Upper White River Basin Foundation, Ozarks Water Watch’s mission is: to promote water quality in the upper White River basin watershed thorough bi-state collaboration on research, public policy and action projects in Arkansas and Missouri.
In order to accomplish our mission, OWW focuses on the three main priorities.
- Coordinate a volunteer monitoring network for streams and lakes throughout the Upper White River watershed. This allows us to report to our local county, city, planning and communities about the condition of the water quality over the long term and across the landscape. We hope to use this long term data to better direct water improvement efforts in the future.
- Promote better decentralized wastewater treatment (septic tanks, community treatment plants) through proper technology maintenance and management, providing financial assistance to low-income households and public education on proper maintenance.
- Coordinate public education, activities and action projects such as litter and tire clean-ups, community events and online and media coverage of water quality information to help people around the Ozarks protect their local streams, lakes and aquifers.
We feel these priorities are important in maintaining water quality while also being areas that our organization is able to make a difference in water quality protection. As of 2015, OWW was merged with Table Rock Lake Water Quality Inc. (which dissolved legally) and was joined by the staff and support of this organization which has allowed us to work more effectively and collaboratively within our local communities to promote water quality conservation and projects. Our Arkansas program, Beaver LakeSmart provides local support for our volunteers who monitor streams and lakes in the Beaver Lake portion of our watershed as well and providing local watershed education.