The mission of the Water Resources Agency is to provide water science and policy assistance to governments in Delaware, the Delaware Valley, and along the Atlantic seaboard through the land-grant public service, education, and research role of the University of Delaware. The WRA is a unit of the Institute for Public Administration within the School of Public Policy and Administration in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Funding support for WRA comes from federal, state, and local government partners, including the state of Delaware, New Castle County, the City of Newark, and the City of Wilmington as well as specific grants.
The Water Resources Agency is sponsored by a regional intergovernmental board of the State of Delaware, New Castle County, and cities of Newark and Wilmington to provide clean and plentiful water supplies for Delaware. A regional, intergovernmental approach is essential for water management since watersheds and aquifers cross many political jurisdictions. The Christina Basin in northern Delaware with headwaters in Pennsylvania provides drinking water to over a half million people including 60% of Delaware’s, 70% of New Castle County’s, and all of Newark’s and Wilmington’s population. Public and private water utilities deliver drinking water from sole source aquifers to 40% of the First State’s population in southern New Castle, Kent, and Sussex counties.
WRA provides public service to Delaware’s governments as the State Water Coordinator, through an appointment on the New Castle County Resource Protection Area Technical Advisory Committee, as a local Christina Basin watershed coordinator, and as the lead agency in charge of implementing a Source Water Protection Plan for Delaware’s four drinking water intakes.
In an education role, WRA offers graduate-level courses in Regional Watershed Management and Geographic Information Systems and also sponsors water-resources fellowships for graduate students interested in the MPA and MA degrees in the School of Public Policy & Administration.
WRA faculty, staff, and students collaborate in applied research involving the University of Delaware Experimental Watershed, bottled-water attitudes, water rates, and the link between impervious cover and watershed health.
For more information, contact Gerald Kauffman (302-831-4929).