On March 22, 2016, in conjunction with the United Nations World Water Day, the Obama administration hosted a White House Water Summit to raise awareness of water issues and potential solutions in the United States, and to catalyze ideas and actions to help build a sustainable and secure water future through innovative science and technology. The White House Office of Science and Technology selected the National Institutes for Water Resources as one of its 150 invitees from across the nation to participate in the White House Water Summit.
NIWR was represented at the event by Dr. Stephen Schoenholtz, president-elect for NIWR and director of the Virginia Water Resources Research Center at Virginia Tech. Schoenholtz presented those in attendance with NIWR’s commitment to addressing national and regional water issues:
“The network of 54 National Institutes for Water Resources (NIWR), in partnership with USGS, is announcing that over the next five years, approximately $18 million will be invested annually in more than 200 new, locally identified water projects. In addition, over the next five years, NIWR institutes pledge to increase strategic state, regional, and national partnerships that enhance their student-training activities, work with public and private sectors, and research addressing pertinent national and regional water issues.”
Schoenholtz explained, “With the current national spotlight on the water woes in Flint, Michigan, the water problems of our nation and around the world are at last on everyone’s radar. Citizens now know what scientists have been trying to tell policymakers for years — that the quantity and quality of our water can no longer be taken for granted anywhere on the globe. Flint’s problems are our wake-up call. And the White House Water Summit is the catalyst for action and solutions for the spectrum of water challenges.”
Watch a replay of the summit below.