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The Water Resources Research Act of 1964 authorized the establishment of a water resources research and technology institute or center at a land grant university in each state.


A small federal grant administered by the U.S. Geological Survey [USGS, Section 104(b)] provides base support to each institute in identifying water resources research needs, finding university researchers capable of conducting useful research, and leveraging federal funds with state and other resources to sponsor the needed investigations.


The Act charged the institutes with

  1. arranging for competent research that addresses water problems or expands understanding of 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.


Since 2000, we have funded more than 70 research projects, providing support and training for over 180 students.


Read how this seed money has accomplished exactly those goals in the stories below.


Seed Grants Grow One Agronomist’s Program Seeking to Extend the Life of the Ogallala Aquifer

Dr. Jason Warren is searching for ways to prolong the life of the Ogallala aquifer and the agricultural production that depends on it. (a 2013-2014 project, and a 2015 project)


Improving Soil Moisture Monitoring by the Oklahoma Mesonet 
Dr. Tyson Ochsner's research team is increasing the functionality of the Oklahoma Mesonet with soil moisture monitoring. (a 2010 funded project)


Shaping Oklahoman Water Knowledge 
Dr. Justin Moss's program has changed how and why Oklahomans conserve water in the landscape. (a 2010 funded project)


Streamside Aquifers Blur the Boundaries between Groundwater and Surface Water
Dr. Garey Fox explains how surface water and groundwater are naturally connected. Water agencies must understand the interconnection of these waters, especially as groundwater demand continues to increase in the southern Great Plains. (a 2009 funded project)


Building Plans for Deteriorating Infrastructure 
The impact of this grant is far-reaching, influencing water infrastructure for many rural communities beyond the four studied in this project by Drs. Art Stoecker and Brian Whitacre. (a 2008 funded project)


Water Center Grants Recipient Positively Impacting the “City of Pure Spring Water” and its Neighbors

Dr. Todd Halihan’s research has helped officials in and around Ada, OK understand the dynamics of their unique aquifer. He also influenced the creation of a research center to benefit student researchers for years to come. (a 2007 funded project)


The Widespread Impact of the Water Center’s Grants Program 
Dr. Tracy Boyer tells how 104(b) seed money received in 2007 propelled her research at Lake Tenkiller.


Documenting the Impact of the Water Center’s Grants Program 
Dr. Garey Fox, OWRC director, describes how his program grew and nourished students after receiving a 104(b) grant in 2007.

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