Water Resources Research

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Our objective is to build the West Virginia Water Research Institute as the premier water research center in West Virginia and, within selected fields, an international leader.


The Director and management of the West Virginia Water Research Institute aggressively search for funding opportunities from Federal and State agencies and the private sector. These funds are used to support specific research projects, are used to match USGS 104b cost share requirements, and cover administrative costs.


Paul F. Ziemkiewicz, Ph.D., Director
(304) 293-6958

Tamara F. Vandivort, Associate Director
(304) 293-6968

USGS 104b Water Research Program

West Virginia has had a Water Research Institute since 1967. While it has a statewide mandate, it has always been a small program, receiving about $130,000 per year initially and declining gradually to approximately $82,000 per year. Between 1996 and 1999, USGS eliminated the state funding programs in favor of regional competitions based on regional priorities. While the West Virginia Water Research Institute was successful in winning several awards, the change effectively eliminated our ability to serve the State’s water research priorities.

Starting in 2000, the research program came back to the states and in 2001 the amount of research dollars was increased. With water related issues increasing in importance to the State, this proved an opportune time to reinvigorate the West Virginia Water Research Institute (WVWRI).

Learn more about the USGS 104b program.

West Virginia Advisory Committee for Water Research

Frank Borsuk
Aquatic Fisheries Biologist
1060 Chapline Street, Suite 303
Wheeling, WV 26003-2995
Phone: (304) 234-0241
Fax: (304) 234-0257

Doug Chambers
U.S. Geological Survey, West Virginia Water Science Center
Biologist, WQ Specialist
11 Dunbar St.
Charleston, WV 25301
Phone: (304) 347-5130

Joseph Douglass
Longview Power, LLC
Asset & Environmental Director
1375 Fort Martin Rd.
Maidsville, WV 26541
Phone: (304) 599-0930

Brian Farkas
West Virginia Conservation Agency
Executive Director
1900 Kanawha Blvd., East
Charleston, WV 25305
Phone: (304) 558-2204

Jay Hewitt
Northeast Natural Energy
Drilling and Completions Manager
48 Donley St., Suite 601
Morgantown, WV 26501

Patricia Hickman
WV Dept. of Environmental Protection
Director of Land Restoration
131-A Penninsula St.
Wheeling, WV 26003
Phone: (304) 926-0499

George “Geo” Richards
U.S. Dept. of Energy – NETL
Focus Area Lead, Energy System Dynamics
3610 Collins Ferry Rd., PO Box 880
Morgantown, WV 26507-0880
Phone: (304) 285-4458

Rose Riley
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Pittsburgh
Wm. S. Morehead Federal Bldg.
1000 Liberty Ave., 22nd Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15222-4186
Phone: (412) 395-7357

William Toomey
Manager, Source Water Assessment Program
West Virginia Bureau for Public Health (WVBPH)
350 Capital St Room 313
Charleston, WV  25301
Phone: (304) 356-4298
Fax: (304) 558-4322

David Wellman
Fisheries Biologist
West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR)
1110 Railroad St.
Farmington, WV 26571

John Wirts
WV Dept. of Environmental Protection
Division of Water and Waste Management
Environmental Resources Program Manager
350 Capitol St., Room 313
Charleston, WV 25301
Phone: (304) 926-0499