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With the appointment of Dr. Gerald J. Kauffman as Director of the University of Delaware Water Resources Center (DWRC) effective January 2015, the UD Water Resources Agency is undergoing a strategic planning process to consolidate its mission with the DWRC.

The University of Delaware Water Resources Center is one of the 54 National Institutes for Water Resources (NIWR) funded by the Department of the Interior and U. S. Geological Survey at land grant universities in the 50 states, District of Columbia, and three island territories of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Guam. This year the DWRC celebrates our 50th anniversary of the center’s designation by the University of Delaware in 1965, one year after Lyndon Baines Johnson signed the Water Resources Research Act (WRRA) that established the NIWR program on July 17, 1964. The DWRC here at the University of Delaware is part of a national land grant network that stretches from the Atlantic to the Pacific and includes schools such as California (Berkeley), Georgia Tech, Illinois, Wisconsin, Florida, and Ohio State and belongs to the Mid-Atlantic NIWR region with colleagues at Cornell, Penn State, Rutgers, Maryland, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia. The DWRC is supported by Federal appropriations from the USGS and support from Federal (National Park Services, EPA, NOAA), state/local government, and foundation sources. One of our strategic objectives of the DWRC will be to increase the amount of Federal, state/local, and foundation support for internships and research assistantships for students, faculty, and policy scientists to conduct water science and policy research here in Delaware, the Delaware Valley, and throughout America.

By its favorable geography and hydrology, the University of Delaware is fortuitously situated for water resources research. The Newark campus along the Fall line between the Appalachian Piedmont and Atlantic Coastal Plain and the coastal Lewes campus along the Atlantic Ocean sit amidst two great estuary systems – the Delaware and Chesapeake. These mid-Atlantic basins contribute drinking water to a full one tenth of the nation’s population and the first (New York City), fourth (Baltimore/DC), and seventh (Philadelphia) largest metropolitan economies in the United States. Designated by President Clinton through legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Biden in 2000, the White Clay Creek National Wild and Scenic River flows through the University of Delaware in Newark as an ideal experimental watershed for on-campus water resources research by students and faculty/staff.

In accordance with the strategic plan for the University of Delaware (Delaware Will Shine), the mission of the Water Resources Agency (Water Resources Center) is to provide water science and policy assistance to governments in Delaware, the Delaware Valley, and along the Atlantic seaboard through the land-grant education (learning), research (scholarship), and public service (engagement) 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.  From 2000-2015, the DWRC has been directed by Dr. Tom Sims for the last fifteen years in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Funding support for WRA (DWRC) comes from federal (USGS,EPA, National Park Services, NOAA), state, and local government partners, including the state of DelawareNew Castle County, the City of Newark, and the City of Wilmington as well as specific grants from American Rivers, Fish America Foundation, and the William Penn Foundation.

The University of Delaware Water Resources Agency is sponsored by an Advisory Panel and 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.

In an education (learning) role, WRA offers undergraduate and graduate courses in Water Resources Engineering, Regional Watershed Management, and Geographic Information Systems and also sponsors water-resources fellowships for graduate students interested in the MPA and MA degrees and MS degree in Water Science and Policy in the School of Public Policy & Administration.

WRA provides public service (engagement) 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.

WRA faculty, staff, and students collaborate in research (scholarship) involving the University of Delaware Experimental Watershed, watershed economics, watershed restoration, and human/climatic drivers of watershed land use variation and water quality trends.

For more information, contact Gerald J. Kauffman, Ph.D., Director of the University of Delaware Water Resources Agency (Water Resources Center) at the office (302-831-4929), by cell (302-893-1571), or at jerryk@udel.edu.

About WRA and the 50th Anniversary of the DWRC

With the retirement of Dr. Tom Sims, Deputy Dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, I am pleased to be appointed the third Director of the University of Delaware Water Resources Center (DWRC) effective January 15, 2015. Dr. Sims skillfully served as the DWRC director for a decade and a half and made a real and substantial difference in the careers and lives of hundreds if not thousands of students, faculty, and staff who conducted research in water science and policy here at the University of Delaware.  The DWRC is one of the 54 National Institutes for Water Resources (NIWR) funded by the U. S. Geological Survey at land grant universities in the 50 states, District of Columbia, and the three island territories of the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Guam. This year the DWRC celebrates our 50th anniversary of the center’s designation as established at the University of Delaware in 1965, one year after Lyndon Baines Johnson signed the Water Resources Research Act (WRRA) that established the NIWR program on July 17, 1964. The DWRC here at the University of Delaware belongs to the Mid-Atlantic NIWR region that includes our colleagues at Cornell, Penn State, Rutgers, Maryland, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia.

By its favorable geography and hydrology, the University of Delaware is fortuitously situated for water resources research. The Newark campus along the Fall line between the Appalachian Piedmont and Atlantic Coastal Plain and the coastal Lewes campus along the Atlantic Ocean sit amidst two great estuary systems – the Delaware and Chesapeake. These mid-Atlantic basins contribute drinking water to a full one tenth of the nation’s population and the first (New York City), fourth (Baltimore/DC), and seventh (Philadelphia) largest metropolitan economies in the United States. The White Clay Creek National Wild and Scenic River flows through the University of Delaware here in Newark as an ideal experimental watershed for on-campus water resources research by students and faculty/staff. One of our objectives will be to increase the amount of Federal, state, local, and foundation support for internships and research assistantships for students and faculty to conduct water resources research here in Delaware and the Delaware Valley and throughout America.

If you are on campus, please feel free to drop by my office at the DGS Annex on Academy Street in Newark or contact me at 302-831-4929 or jerryk@udel.edu.

 

Warmly,

Gerald J. Kauffman, Ph.D., Director
University of Delaware
Water Resources Center