Posts Tagged ‘NIWR’

Water Institutes Come Together to Show Impact of WRRI Program

Written by Andrew Stacy on . Posted in Blog, News, Press Release

Water resources research institutes are required to leverage each dollar of federal support with two dollars of non-federal support. As a result, the WRRI program is one of the most cost-effective, cost-shared national research programs in the country.

Water resources research institutes are required to leverage each dollar of federal support with two dollars of non-federal support. As a result, the WRRI program is one of the most cost-effective, cost-shared national research programs in the country.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Outreach, communication, storytelling. These are important functions for any organization trying to get their message out. If the organization doesn’t do a good job telling their story people will fill that information gap with rumors, gossip or, perhaps even worse, they won’t know you exist. This is especially true when communicating the importance and impact of a program to members of Congress.

Each year, directors from the 54 water resources research institutes meet in Washington, D.C. at the National Institutes for Water Resources (NIWR) Annual Meeting. The institutes represent each state, as well as the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and American Samoa.

This year’s meeting was held in February and served as an important opportunity for the NIWR directors to meet with legislators and show the impact that the Water Resources Research Institute (WRRI) program has across the country.

“With the intense competition for the federal funding that does exist in congress, it’s important that people understand what the [WRRI] program does and what it offers,” said Dr. Richard Cruse, NIWR president and director of the Iowa Water Center. “In the absence of sharing our story, it’s easy for someone to lose site of the importance of this program.”

Water resources research institutes are required to leverage each dollar of federal support with two dollars of non-federal support. As a result, the WRRI program is one of the most cost-effective, cost-shared national research programs in the country.

The WRRI program differs from other water research programs in that the NIWR network represents the only authorized federal-state program that focuses on applied water resource research, education, training, and outreach.

“A critical nature of this program is that there is a grass roots, or bottom up, decision on what is going to be funded,” said Cruse. “Most of the other programs are decided in Washington, D.C. and the program panels decide what the research is going to be about. The WRRI program is decided at the state level.”

This is important because the staff at the institutes and the advisory panels that guide them are made up of people who live in the state and make decisions informed by research outcomes. They know firsthand the most important issues facing water users in their state.

Dr. Paul Ziemkiewicz, director of the West Virginia Water Research Institute, pointed out that water research priorities, at the state level, change according to industry and market changes, regulatory initiatives and crises.

“These priority changes can happen quickly and the WRRI program allows a rapid response to state legislatures, agencies, industry and the public,” said Ziemkiewicz. “This is a need that simply cannot be filled through programs that focus on national priorities.”

Water problems, however, are not bound by state borders but by the watersheds in which they reside. That’s why collaboration among institutes is one of the most distinctive aspects of the WRRI program; states working together to solve local, regional and national water issues. According to Ziemkiewicz, just as each institute provides a state level focus for water research, collaborations among institutes within a region helps draw research talent toward trans-boundary water issues and develop solutions for federal and state policy makers.

-WVWRI-

as/3/28/16

Registration for Mid-Atlantic Regional Water Conference Open Through Aug. 30

Written by Andrew Stacy on . Posted in Events, News

Registration for the upcoming 2014 Mid-Atlantic Regional Water Conference ends on Aug. 30.

The event, co-hosted by the West Virginia Water Research Institute at West Virginia University, will bring together researchers, policy makers, regulators, agencies and the public to share in the latest information, technologies and research relating to the Mid-Atlantic region’s water resources.

The conference will take place on Sept. 24 and 25 at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown and will feature over 50 speakers from throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region. Topics will focus on the challenges and solutions facing the future of the Mid-Atlantic region’s water infrastructure.

“Water infrastructure is a vitally important issue moving into the future,” said Paul Ziemkiewicz, director of the West Virginia Water Research Institute. “January’s chemical spill on the Elk River in West Virginia highlighted the need to seriously study the Nation’s water infrastructure to find better ways to protect source water and to improve the resiliency of the entire water system.”

The conference program will feature plenary sessions, three tracks of concurrent break-out sessions and several guest speakers including:

• Earl Greene – Acting Chief, External Research and Coordinator of Hydrologic Network and Analysis, United States Geological Survey
• Gerald Kauffman – Director, University of Delaware Water Resources Agency
• John Kennedy – Director, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality Office of Ecology and Infrastructure
• John Unger – West Virginia State Senate Majority Leader
• John Sheehan – Director, Adirondack Environmental Council
• Walt Ivey – Director, Environmental Engineering Division, West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources

For more information about the 2014 Mid-Atlantic Regional Water Conference, including a complete list of speakers and to register, visit www.midatlanticwc.org.

The West Virginia Water Research Institute is a program of the National Research Center for Coal and Energy at West Virginia University. In existence since 1967, the West Virginia Water Research Institute serves as a statewide vehicle for performing research related to water issues. It is the premier water research center in West Virginia and, within selected fields, an international leader.