May 20 2013
WASHINGTON DC – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and John Boozman (R-AR), Chairman and Ranking Member, respectively, of the Senate Environment and Public Works Water and Wildlife Subcommittee, have introduced a bill to reauthorize federal grant funding for water resources research institutes in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Water Resources Research Act (WRRA) will provide continued support for important research on state and regional water challenges, provide training for hydrologists and other water-related scientists and engineers, and fund public outreach and education on water issues. According to the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, the Water Resources Research Institutes also are the country’s single largest training program for water scientists, technicians, and engineers.
“Every American depends on clean, safe water at home and at work. Whether it’s floods, droughts, or water quality, water research grants provide both an improved understanding of the country’s water-related issues and better technology to address them. Nearly half a century after the Water Resources Research grant program was first put in place, this program is just as relevant to our economy and our environment, and just as critical to the health and safety of our communities,” Cardin said.
“WRRA grants are leveraged to bring additional resources to the study of water resources issues, including methods to protect reliable, clean and safe sources water for farms and communities,” Boozman said. “Each federal dollar spent must be matched with two non-federal dollars. This is the highest match requirement of any federal research program. This program allows the Arkansas Water Resources Center and its sister institutions across the country to solve real-world problems related to our water quality and quantity needs.”
First authorized in 1964, the Water Resources Research Amendments Act was most recently reauthorized in 2006, in PL 109-471. The current authorization expired in Fiscal Year (FY) 2011.
Last year’s funded projects included research into the development of better detection methods for pathogens in drinking water, a review of water quality trends across select sites in in the Mid-South, and the impacts of drought on farm supply chains. WRRA Researchers across the Mid-Atlantic States have developed ways to keep the Chesapeake waters cleaner through urban stormwater treatment, improved roadway design, and eco-friendly poultry farming practices. WRRA-funded projects develop innovative and cost-effective solutions for similar water resources issues across the country.