to other water research organizations
worldwide, highlighting the uniqueness of
In recent years, however, congressional
funding has dropped off sharply. While
we once received an average of $5 million
a year, in 2007, for the first time in almost
two decades, we received no congressional
earmarks. In 2008 and 2009, the Foundation
received approximately $1.7 million each
year from Congress.
The United States now trails the European
Union and Australia in water research
funding. Collectively, these regions are
putting billions of dollars into water
“Water research funds in the U.S. have
largely disappeared at a time when the
problems and the issues facing water
providers are growing,” said Renner.
“Energy issues, aging infrastructure, climate
change, and drugs in drinking water are
just a few issues that must be solved fairly
quickly, but it’s going to take research to
yield the answers that will lead to solutions.”
The Drinking Water Adaptation, Technology,
Education, and Research (WATER) Act would
authorize $25 million a year for 10 years
for applied research on how to address the
impacts of climate change on water. It is
currently in House and Senate committees.
We also seek funding from outside sources.
For 2010, we have set a goal of garnering
$2.7 million or 17 percent of our total
budget in grants and co-funding from
“We have embarked on efforts to expand
the funding base to ensure the burden
of finances does not rest solely on our
subscribers and to address the uncertainty
of federal funding,” Renner said. “While the
seeds of this work have been planted, it will
take time to see the results.”
The Foundation’s Public Council on
Drinking Water Research—a public
advisory board—and our Board of Trustees
are guiding efforts to approach private
entities and foundations that focus on
water and share our mission of producing
scientifically driven research.
Partnerships and In-Kind Support
The Foundation continues to stretch
limited dollars through well-established
partnerships and in-kind contributions.
Our research contracts require
organizations that win contracts to
contribute a minimum of 25 percent of
the total contract award as in-kind services.
That could include a donation of cash, labor
costs, or laboratory services.