|The Water Resources Research Act of 1964 authorized establishment of a water resources research and technology institute or center in each state and territory. The 54 institutes were charged with:
The program is under the general guidance of the Secretary of the Interior, and is administered through the U.S. Geological Survey.
- arranging for competent research that addresses water problems or expands understanding of water and water-related phenomena,
- aiding the entry of new research scientists into the water resources fields,
- helping to train future water scientists and engineers, and
- getting results of sponsored research to water managers and the public.
The Water Resources Research Act of 1984 reauthorized the program, which was further amended by the 101st, 104th and 106th Congresses. The Institutes now have the additional charge of arranging research that includes investigations of natural resources and agricultural systems. The Institutes are required to match each federal dollar received through the program with two non-federal dollars.
The 109th Congress reauthorized the Water Resources Research Act through 2011 and authorized base funding for the institutes, plus additional research funding for competitive grants for projects of regional or national significance. An Act to reauthorize the institutes through 2016 was introduced in Congress in March 2011.