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RI Water Resources Center

Director, Leon Thiem
Leon Thiem / Director

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.

Mission Statement

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.


On July 17, 1964, 46 years ago today, President Johnson signed into law the Water Resources Research Act of 1964. A copy of the press release is attached. Also attached is a copy of a speech to the Western Resources Conference on July 16, 1964, by Benjamin Stong, a member of the staff of the Senate Interior and Insular Affairs Committee, describing the legislative history of the Act. Both the press release and the legislative history provide evidence of the strong interest of the Congress in the actual implementation of the Act. An interest that continues to this day.

Happy Anniversary!


John E. Schefter
Chief, Office of External Research
MS 424, U.S. Geological Survey
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive
Reston, Virginia 20192

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