AWRC is one of 54 water research institutes in the United States established through the Water Resources Research Act of 1964. AWRC’s mission is: 1) to plan and conduct water resource research, cooperating closely with colleges, universities and other institutes in Arkansas to address the state's water and land-related problems; 2) to promote the dissemination and application of research results; 3) to provide for the training of scientists in water resources; 4) to formulate a research program that is responsive to state water issues; and 5) to work closely with state and federal agencies.
AWRC has contributed substantially to Arkansas’ water resources via research and educational outreach activities through established partnerships with federal, state and local entities. AWRC also provides one of the primary mechanisms in the state for technology transfer and has over the years trained a large pool of students who eventually move into the workforce that targets water resource concerns throughout Arkansas. Through these collaborative partnerships AWRC provides effective coordination between the university research community and watershed-based implementation projects by providing technical assistance that is delivered to land users throughout the state, but especially within the priority watersheds.
AWRC's Water Quality Lab provides analytical, field and technical support to the water quality investigative community, which includes university researchers, state agencies, federal agencies and private groups or individuals. The Water Quality Lab is accredited for microbiological examination of drinking water by the ADH, for surface water examination by the ADEQ and for trace level drinking water examination by the Louisiana Department of Health. The lab is the only lab in the state accredited under the new EPA National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Conference (NELAC) standards.