LOWELL, Ark. — Nearly $9 million will be used to improve and protect water quality in northwest Arkansas over the next five years.

The Beaver Water District’s environmental quality manager tells the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette (http://bit.ly/1TfqjdO ) that $8.8 million in federal funding and partnership donations will benefit the Watershed Conservation Resource Center’s West Fork White River Watershed Initiative.

The initiative is designed to monitor and enhance the West Fork of the White River watershed and the Beaver Lake watershed.

A statement from the Beaver Water District says the money will be allocated toward river restoration and other best management practices on agricultural lands through the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program.

Up to 2 miles of the West Fork of the White River will be restored.

Information from: Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.nwaonline.com