The Rhode Island Water Resources Center is one of the 54 Water Resources Research Institutes located at the land-grant university in each state, the District of Columbia, and three U.S. territories. Created by Congress through the Water Resources Research Act of 1984 and administrated by the U.S. Geological Survey, each Center links the academic community with federal, state, and local governments and with the private sector. This national network of centers promotes communication, multi-disciplinary research, and policy analyses among members of the academic community with water research expertise at all institutes of higher education. The network effectively joins and encourages the sharing of laboratories, computers, data bases, and other facilities at universities, colleges, and governmental and private sites throughout the nation.
The Water Resource Center of Rhode Island’s primary efforts are focused on researching the most pressing of state and regional water issues to provide understanding and resolution. Grants are awarded to Rhode Island faculty and partnering professionals to facilitate this research while enhancing the education and training of future water resources graduates and developing interest in the water resources field. Thus far, research has primarily fallen in the areas of social science, engineering, water quality, and groundwater flow and transport. Rhode Island’s WRC is continually striving to provide both the state’s public and private sectors with improved information dissemination through competent databases, user friendly websites, and community outreach. Collaboration with New England educational institutes, governmental and private organizations, as well as water policy makers is promoted to achieve assurance in the quality and abundance of the state’s water resources along with the enhancement of public awareness and social values concerning current water issues.
The Water Resources Research Act
On July 17, 1964, President Johnson signed the Water Resources Research Act. Read the press release and a speech to the Western Resources Conference on July 16, 1964, by Benjamin Stong, a member of the Senate Interior and Insular Affairs Committee staff. Both documents show the strong interest of Congress in the act.