Water Resources Research Institutes
What are the Water Resources Research Institutes?
The Water Resources Research Institutes are patnerships among state universities; federal, state, and local governments; business and industries; and non-governmental organizations aimed at solving problems of water supply and water quality at local, state, regional, and national levels. At a public university of each state, a small federal grant provides base support for a program that identifies local and state needs for water research, finds university researchers capable of conducting useful research, and leverages federal funds with state and other resources to sponsor the needed investigations. Some of these programs are freestanding institutes, others are subunits within university departments or cross-discipline research entities.
Who runs the Water Resources Reseach Institutes?
WRRI's are housed and administered within state universities. Most are located at land-grant universities where they cooperate with and draw upon the resources of traditional agriculture, engineering, and natural resource faculty and extension networks. Each institute is under the leadership of an university faculty member with a record of achievements in water-related reseach. Some institutes have full-time directors, some have part-time directors, and some are administered along with other natural resource research programs in cross-discipline institutes. The institutes have established themselves as a primary link between water-related personnel in the academic community; local, state, and federal governments; and the private sector. To identify the most important state and local water reseach needs, each WRRI brings together a local advisory panel. Typically the advisory panel consists of local, state, and federal agency officials, representatives of business and industry, and representatives of non-governmental organizations. These panels identify the most pressing water problems facing their state and localities and establish priorities for reseach.
What do the Water Resources Research Institute do?
Water Resources Research Institutes encourage and help states to address their specific water reseach needs. While management of water resources is a state and local responsibility, research has traditionally been a national undertaking. By providing a small amount of federal funding and requiring a non-federal match, the institute program encourages states to invest in university-based research to solve local water resource problems. Specifically:
Who are the customers of the Water Resources Reseach Institutes?
- By establishing and utilizing state advisory panels, WRRIs help states employ a conscious and systematic process for identifying and prioritizing needs for water-related information and analysis.
- By drawing upon university faculties throughout their states, WRRIs tap a wealth of research expertise and foster multidisciplinary and innovative approaches to research on local water issues.
- By collaborating with federal, state, and local agencies and the private sector, WRRIs leverage their funding and help build statewide and regional networks to share resources and information.
- By awarding mresearch grants through a competitive, peer-review process, WRRIs sponsor research that will produce useful results and make sure reseach is of the highest quality.
- By publishing reports and other publications; by conducting seminars, workshops, and conferences; and by one-on-one communication with state and local agency personnel, WRRIs make sure the results of research are available to those who need the informationand can put recommendations into action to improve water resource management.
- By stimulating water-related research in universities, WRRIs provide opportunities for undergraduate and graduate training and educaton of future water scientists, engineers, managers, and technicians.
WRRIs serve the citizens of the states and territories in which they are located. Direct consumers of WRRI research and information transfer are:
- State water-quantity and water quality management agencies and state environmental health agencies.
- Local govenments.
- Municipal water, wastewater, and environmental health agencies.
- Private water and wastewater companies
- Businesses and industries which use and manage or otherwise affect natural resources.
- Farmers and other agricultural enterprises.
- Environmental organizations.
- Federal agencies such as the Corps of Engineers, Environmental Protection Agency, DOE, DOD, and Interior.