Center of Excellence for Watershed Management
In 2010, NC State University, as managing entity of WRRI, was designated by the EPA as a Center of Excellence for Watershed Management. This led to a Memorandum of Understanding between the EPA, NC State, WRRI, and the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources to help communities identify watershed-based problems and develop and implement sustainable solutions for managing local waters. The CEWM is engaged in three main watershed programs: the Watershed Stewardship Network, the Black Creek Watershed Association, and the Burnt Mill Creek Watershed Initiative. Learn more >
The National Institutes for Water Resources (NIWR) partners with the US Geological Survey (USGS) through the provisions of the Water Resources Research Act (WRRA) to address water-related concerns by providing a national platform for research, training and collaboration. 54 NIWR member institutes are housed in the country’s land-grant universities in all 50 states, three US territories and the District of Columbia. USGS provides each institute with a grant to target local priorities, recruit researchers and leverage federal funds with state and private money. NIWR is the only federally mandated research program that focuses on applied water resource research, education, training and outreach.
NC WRRI collaborates with its state USGS partners including the South Atlantic Water Science Center and the Southeast Climate Science Center, both based in Raleigh. Representatives from these USGS entities serve on WRRI’s advisory committee and help to direct WRRI research priorities and funds. The Water Science Center contributes to the WRRI Newsletter, and has co-supported an internship with WRRI.
The NC WRRI also leads the national NIWR-USGS Partnership Committee which promotes collaboration among the NIWR as an organization, the individual state institutes, and the federal and state USGS partners. The committee works to demonstrate the complementarity of the programs, to highlight the institute-driven research that addresses USGS needs and priorities, and identify new opportunities for the institutes and USGS to work together to support each other’s work.
WRRI is an inter-institutional program of the University of North Carolina System. While we are administered by and housed at NC State University, we serve the entire system of UNC’s 17 campuses. We support the mission and goals of our host, NC State, and those of the UNC System as a whole including to discover, create, transmit, and apply knowledge to address the needs of individuals and society, and to support commitment to public service.
WRRI and the North Carolina Water Resources Association have a long-standing relationship that is supported by a memorandum of understanding. Due to common missions to convene, educate, and promote discussion among water resource practitioners from around the state, WRRI assists NCWRA with providing quarterly forums and an annual symposium on emerging water resource topics. WRRI staff members serve on the NCWRA Board of Directors and various NCWRA committees, provide in-house logistical and programmatic support for all events, and assist with financial management of the group.
For more than 30 years, WRRI has helped the NC Department of Environment Quality, specifically the Land Quality Section, comply with the educational and training requirements of the Sedimentation Pollution Control Act (SPCA). The WRRI director holds a seat on the state Sedimentation Control Commission, and WRRI staff serve on the Sediment Education Committee.
WRRI and NC DEQ are signatory partners of the Center for Excellence in Watershed Management. NC DEQ staff serve on the NC Watershed Stewardship Network Steering Committee, and participate in WRRI’s watershed restoration programs.
WRRI also assists with other DEQ efforts including service on the Nutrient Science Advisory Board’s Criteria Implementation Committee, assisting with the NC Source Water Collaborative, and facilitating interactions between department staff and university researchers.
Along with NC DEQ and NC State, WRRI is signatory partner with the US Environmental Protection Agency on the Center for Excellence in Watershed Management. US EPA contributes to activities of the center through competitive grant funding and support from US EPA staff as needed.