The Water Resources Research Institutes represent cooperative agreements between public universities and federal and state governments that engender lasting partnerships among state universities; federal, state, and local governments; businesses and industries; and non-governmental organizations aimed at solving problems of water supply and water quality at local, state, regional, and nation levels.

At the land grant university of each state, a small federal grant provides base support for a program that identifies water resources research needs, finds university researchers capable of conducting useful research, and leverages federal funds with state and other resources to sponsor the needed investigations. More importantly, the modest federal grant creates an environment that encourages the other partners to incorporate science into their efforts and fund additional research in ways that might not occur without the aegis of the federal grant. Some (40%) of these programs are free-standing units within university colleges, and others are subunits within university departments of cross-discipline research entities. NIWR networks these seperate institutes into a coordinated unity, represented by eight regional groupings and functioning through NIWR.

The State Water Resources Research Institute Program is administrated by the U.S. Department of the Interior through the U.S. Geological Survey. Find your state water research institute by visiting the NIWR Institutes page.