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The IWW is the state water resources research institute for Oregon and is one of 54 state- or territory-based, institutes established by the 1964 Federal Water Resources Research Act. Through this program, the IWW receives federal matching funds from the US Geological Survey to support water resources research and technology transfer activities in Oregon. In this role, the IWW carries on the water research tradition established by The Oregon Water Resources Research Institute (OWRRI) which operated from 1960-2000 and the Center for Water and Environmental Sustainability (CWESt) which operated from 2000-2005. The IWW is a member of the National Institutes for Water Resources.
At Oregon State University, over 125 faculty teach and conduct research in areas related to fresh water supply and quality. These faculty members are spread among six colleges and represents many different academic disciplines – including engineering, ecology, geosciences, social sciences, economics and arts. OSU also hosts a vibrant Water Resource Graduate Program where students can earn specialized degrees in water resources engineering, science, and policy and management.
The IWW is the hub for this diverse water research community. It seeks to solve complex water issues by facilitating integrative water research. The IWW’s functions are to:
Help policy makers and water managers collaborate with university faculty and students.
Offer training and access to water quality and stable isotope analysis facilities through a shared laboratory called the IWW Collaboratory.
Encourage community and collaboration among water faculty, students and water managers by sponsoring events and producing a monthly statewide water resources research newsletter.
Assist water faculty with interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary project development and management.
IWW partners with the Institute for Natural Resources (INR), a state-funded institute tasked with linking the scientific knowledge and expertise of universities and other research entities with natural resource decision makers in Oregon. INR serves similar integrative functions to IWW, but focuses on a wider range of natural resources topics including biodiversity, conservation and landscape management. Paired with INR’s data and information management functions, the partnership of INR and IWW expands our ability to address multi-agency and multi-disciplinary resource issues. INR and IWW share an advisory board, staff, and offices on the Oregon State University campus. INR also maintains offices at Portland State University.