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. Annual base grants are required to have a 2:1 match by the Institute for a given year.
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.
The U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the National Institutes for Water Resources supports an annual call for proposals 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 and the Institutes.
The goals of the National Competitive 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 around 1 million dollars in federal funds per year that are required to be matched 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.