The New Hampshire Water Resource Research Center (WRRC), located on the campus of the University of New Hampshire, is an institute which serves as a focal point for research and information on water issues in the state and region. The NH WRRC was established under the provisions of the Water Resource Research Act of 1964 (PL 88-379). The intent of Congress was clearly expressed in the Act's preamble:
In order to assist in assuring the Nation at all times of a supply of water sufficient in quantity and quality to meet the requirements of its expanding population, it is the purpose of the Congress, by this Act, to stimulate, sponsor, provide for, and supplement present programs for the conduct of research, investigations, experiments, and the training of scientists in the fields of water and of resources which affect water.
There is one institute in each state, located at a land grant university, and one in each of our four dependencies (Virgin Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico and Washington, DC).
The NH WRRC actually predates the Federal program. In the late 1950's Professor Gordon Byers (now retired) began a Water Center at UNH. This Center was incorporated into the Federal program in 1965 as one of the original 14 state institutes established under the Act.
The primary charges of each institute are: research, technology transfer and education of new professionals. The institutes accomplish these charges through Federal and state funding mechanisms. Annually, the NH WRRC supports one or two research projects, often hiring one or more students to help perform the research. Recent research topics include: effects of biosolids on groundwater quality, phosphorus management strategies for dairy farms, bacterial transport through soil, and various aspects of lake ecology and eutrophication. A list of recent research projects can be found at our Publications page. All of the research results are published and available online at the Center.
Technology transfer also occurs through phone conversations or public appearances. Staff make public presentations on watershed management, effects of biosolids on water quality, and various aspects of water quality management. They also make presentations at national and international meetings on a variety of scientific topics. A list of presentations and collaborations can be found at our Outreach page.
The Center is a valuable statewide resource; typically there is a water-related issue, almost daily, on the front page of any newspaper. As long as water is an integral factor in our society and being, water issues will be paramount. The NH WRRC performs research on the pressing water issues and helps bridge the gaps between technology and the general public.