About and Mission
The Georgia Water Resources Institute (GWRI) is a non-profit organization with a mission to improve the science and practice of water resources planning and management in ways that balance quality of life, environmental sustainability, and economic growth. GWRI pursues its mission through applied research, education, information dissemination, and technology/knowledge transfer programs at the state, national, and international levels.
The Georgia Water Resources Institute (GWRI) is part of the National Institutes for Water Resources (NIWR) authorized by §104 of the Water Resources Research Act of 1984 (Public Law 98-242) as amended by Public Laws 101-397, 104-147, 106-374, and 109-471. The WRR Act authorizes a water resources research institute in each U.S. state and territory (54 institutes in all) administered by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Department of the Interior. The institutes are charged with (1) arranging for competent research that addresses water problems or expands understanding of water and water-related phenomena, (2) aiding the entry of new research scientists into the water resources fields, (3) helping to train future water scientists and engineers, and (4) getting results of sponsored research to water managers and the public. The program is administered by the U.S. Geological Survey as the Water Resources Research Act Program under the general guidance of the Secretary of the Interior. The learn more about the National Institutes for Water Resources click here.
GWRI strives to improve the science and practice of water resources planning and management in ways that balance quality of life, environmental sustainability, and economic growth. GWRI pursues this mission through its education, research, information dissemination, and technology/knowledge transfer programs at the state, national, and international levels.
The GWRI organizational structure includes a Director, Associate Director, Assistant Director, Advisory Board, and technical support staff. The technical support staff includes graduate students who work on GWRI projects while carrying out Ph.D. and M.Sc. research, as well as information technology support staff. The Advisory Board includes representatives from major state and federal water agencies, the private sector, as well as environmental and citizen groups. GWRI reports to Georgia Tech’s Senior Vice-Provost for Research.
Research Program Sponsorship and Administration
GWRI activities are sponsored by (i) federally appropriated funds through the Department of the Interior/USGS as part of the state and national research programs, and (ii) other national and international funding agencies and organizations in water related areas. Through its annual state and national competitive programs (104B and 104G respectively), GWRI provides research awards to Georgia Universities. The award process includes submission of technical proposals, technical peer reviews, and reviews for relevance to Georgia needs by the State Environmental Protection Division (Georgia EPD). The average annual 104B award is 18,000 dollars (federal share) plus 36,000 dollars (cost share). The total annual funding for the national 104G program is 1,000,000 dollars. These and other GWRI projects are making significant knowledge contributions in a variety of water resources disciplines from hydrology and ecology to economics and policy, as well as creating highly qualified graduates serving in government, industry, and academia.
Other External Funding: In addition to the 104B and 104G programs, GWRI generates additional funding through participation in competitive national and international research programs. Approximately, 40% of the total GWRI funding is sponsored by state sources, 40% by national funding agencies, and 20% by international organizations. The GWRI involvement in national and international research activities is crucial to maintaining the expert capacity and funding portfolio necessary to provide quality services to the state of Georgia and all other sponsors.
Information Dissemination and Technology Transfer
GWRI sponsors, organizes, and participates in state and national conferences and specialty workshops. In particular, GWRI organizes and sponsors the Georgia Water Resources Conference held every two years at the University of Georgia (attended by several hundred water professionals). The complete Georgia Water Resources Conference Proceedings are only available through the GWRI website and represent the most comprehensive information resource for all water related issues and activities in Georgia. GWRI encourages and engages in the authorship of high quality archival publications and peer reviewed reports. In addition, GWRI provides critical technical assistance and support to several Georgia agencies and stakeholders through training workshops on water resources management methods and tools.