Water Resources Research Act Program

Application Information

Below you can find background information and links to application instructions for grants and student internships. Click on a section header for more information about a specific category.

Under the provisions of section 104 of the Water Resources Research Act of 1984 annual base grants (104b) are awarded to the Institutes or Centers that have been established in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam. Funding for this program is historically $7.1 million dollars in federal funds per year that are required to be matched 1:1 with non-federal dollars.

The annual base grants help each Institute or Center to plan and conduct applied and peer reviewed research on water resource issues. Institutes also use their base grants to help train new scientists, disseminate research results to water managers and the public, and to cooperate with other colleges and universities in their respective states and with other institutes and other organizations in their regions to promote regional coordination.

How to Apply

Each Fiscal Year an announcement is issued requesting applications. All applications under this Announcement must be submitted by the Institute Directors or their designee(s) to https://www.grants.gov. Applications will be accepted only from State Institutes/Centers established pursuant to the provisions of Section 104 of the Water Resources Research Act of 1984, as amended. Only faculty members or affiliates at University/Colleges may submit project proposals to the State Water Institutes/Centers.

The Fiscal Year 2022 WRRA 104b funding announcement (#G22AS00237) is now available at https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=338369. Proposals must be filed at grants.gov by 5 pm ET on May 2, 2022.

Funding for FY22 was increased by $500,000. This results in a total funding amount of $133,770 per state/territory, which is an increase of $8.770. We are working with the USGS Office of Acquisitions and Grants to modify the funding announcement so that it will be ready for the original submission date shown above.

The U.S. Geological Survey supports an annual call for proposals under the National Competitive (104g) Grants in cooperation with the National Institutes for Water Resources to focus on water problems and issues that are of a regional or interstate nature or relate to a specific program priority identified by the Secretary of the Interior.

Goals of the National Competitive (104g) Grants program are to promote collaboration between the USGS and university scientists in research on significant national and regional water resources issues; promote the dissemination and results of the research funded under this program; and to assist in the training of scientists in water resources.

Funding for this program is historically $1.5 million dollars in federal funds per year that are required to be matched 1:1 with non-federal dollars. Any investigator at an accredited institution of higher learning in the United States is eligible to apply for a grant through a Water Research Institute or Center established under the provisions of the Water Resources Research Act of 1984. Successful research topics have included research on improving and enhancing the nation's water supply, developing innovative approaches to water treatment, evaluation of the dynamics of extreme hydrological events and associated costs; development of methods for better estimation of the physical and economic supply of water; developing approaches for integrated management of ground and surface waters; and the evaluation and assessment of conservation practices.

How to Apply

Each Fiscal Year an announcement is issued requesting applications. All applications under this Announcement must be submitted by the Institute Directors or their designee(s) to https://www.grants.gov. Applications will be accepted only from State Institutes/Centers established pursuant to the provisions of Section 104 of the Water Resources Research Act of 1984, as amended. Only faculty members or affiliates at University/Colleges may submit project proposals to the State Water Institutes/Centers.

The Fiscal Year 2022 WRRA 104g National Competitive Grants funding announcement (#G22AS006417) is now available at https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=338699. Proposals must be filed at grants.gov by 5 pm ET on May 10, 2022.

Funding for FY22 was increased by $500,000. This results in a total funding amount of $2,000,000, which will allow for more awards within the $250,000 maximum.

The U.S. Geological Survey supports an annual call for proposals under the Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Grants in cooperation with the National Institutes for Water Resources to support research on the real and growing impact of numerous aquatic invasive species on water quality and quantity in the Upper Mississippi Basin. Funding for this program is historically $1.0 million dollars in federal funds per year that are required to be matched 1:1 with non-federal dollars. Any investigator at an accredited institution of higher learning in the United States is eligible to apply for a grant through a Water Research Institute or Center established under the provisions of the Water Resources Research Act of 1984.

Successful research topics have included research on Improving our understanding of the impacts of aquatic invasive species on lakes and rivers in the Upper Mississippi River basin, including changes to water quantity, quality and ecosystem dynamics and the social and/or economic assessment of the spread, detection, impacts, solutions, and management of aquatic invasive species in the Upper Mississippi River basin.

How to Apply

Each Fiscal Year an announcement is issued requesting applications. All applications under this Announcement must be submitted by the Institute Directors or their designee(s) to https://www.grants.gov. Applications will be accepted only from State Institutes/Centers established pursuant to the provisions of Section 104 of the Water Resources Research Act of 1984, as amended. Only faculty members or affiliates at University/Colleges may submit project proposals to the State Water Institutes/Centers.

The Fiscal Year 2022 WRRA 104g Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) funding announcement (#G22AS00255) is now available at https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=338681. Proposals must be filed at grants.gov by 5 pm ET on May 10, 2022.

Funding for FY22 was increased by $500,000. This results in a total funding amount of $1,500,000, which will allow for an increased maximum award of $300,000. We are working with the USGS Office of Acquisitions and Grants to modify the funding announcement so that it will be ready for the original submission date shown above.

The U.S. Geological Survey supports an annual call for proposals under the Per-and Polyfluoroalky Substances (PFAS) Grants in cooperation with the National Institutes for Water Resources to support research challenges and opportunities of understanding the impact of per-and polyfluoroalky (PFAS) substances on water resources. Funding for this program is historically $1.0 million dollars in federal funds per year that are required to be matched 1:1 with non-federal dollars. Any investigator at an accredited institution of higher learning in the United States is eligible to apply for a grant through a Water Research Institute or Center established under the provisions of the Water Resources Research Act of 1984.

Successful research topics have included research on the fate, persistence, transport, and impacts of per-and Polyfluoroalky (PFAS) substances on changes to water quality and/or ecosystem dynamics, in water resources, including surface water and groundwater.

How to Apply

Each Fiscal Year an announcement is issued requesting applications. All applications under this Announcement must be submitted by the Institute Directors or their designee(s) to https://www.grants.gov. Applications will be accepted only from State Institutes/Centers established pursuant to the provisions of Section 104 of the Water Resources Research Act of 1984, as amended. Only faculty members or affiliates at University/Colleges may submit project proposals to the State Water Institutes/Centers.

The Fiscal Year 2022 WRRA 104g Per-and Polyfluoroalky Substances (PFAS) funding announcement (#G22AS00256) is now available at https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=338700. Proposals must be filed at grants.gov by 5 pm ET on May 10, 2022.

Funding for FY22 was increased by $1,500,000. This results in a total funding amount of $2,500,000, which will allow for more awards within the $250,000 maximum.

Coordination grants (sometimes referred to as Supplemental Grants or Pass-Through Grants) allow other Federal agencies (including agencies within the Department of the Interior) to use and take advantage of the expertise and capabilities that are available through the network of Institutes established by the Water Resources Research Act.

The USGS may accept funds from other Federal departments, agencies (including bureaus within the Department of the Interior), to establish a grant with an Institute in order to conduct hydrologic research with Federal programs concerned with water resources problems and issues.

The USGS fully supports and encourages other Federal programs concerned with water resources problems and issues to develop grants with the Water Resources Institutes in cooperation with the USGS.

Establishing a Coordination Grant

The USGS can accept funds from other Federal departments or agencies to pass through as a grant to one of the Institutes authorized by the Water Resources Research Act and described at https://water.usgs.gov/wrri/. The Water Resources Research Act gives the USGS the authority to accept the funds and use those funds to award a grant. The funds must be used to support water related research within the provisions of the Act, and the research must have applicability beyond just the other agency's mission.

Please note that coordination grants are not tied to an RFP process and can be established throughout the year.

Please contact Tanja Williamson on the current procedure for establishing these grants.

The NIWR-USGS student internship program provides undergraduate and graduate students with career enhancing field, laboratory, and research experience through participation in USGS activities as interns. The program is a collaborative effort between the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Institutes for Water Resources.

On a need basis the USGS through our Science Centers will fund interns at the State Water Resources Research Institute. Interns are employees of participating universities and colleges and may be a student from any college or university in the Institute's state.

The internship can span multiple fiscal years (FY).

Please note that student internships are not tied to an RFP process and can be established throughout the year.

Interested faculty from U.S. academic institutions or USGS staff should contact Tanja Williamson on the procedure for establishing these internships.

Student Internship Forms