September 28, 2005

Crapo: Water Research Programs Critical

University of Idaho program reauthorized under measure passed by Senate

Washington, DC â?? Legislation that will assist in funding an important University of Idaho natural resource research facility has cleared the U.S. Senate without objection, according to Idaho Senator Mike Crapo. Crapo is one of the original co-sponsors of S. 1017, the Water Resources Research Act. The measure authorizes the funds for dozens of water research programs like the Water Resources Research Institute (WRRI) at the University of Idaho in Boise, which conducts research and provides education on water resources. The current funding for the program expires in September.â??Programs like the WRRI at the University of Idaho are critical to improving our quality and use of water supplies in the West,â?? Crapo said. â??They help to determine contaminant sources and ways to deal with that contamination. They are also a great training ground for research scientists and engineers. In a state like Idaho, where water is a precious resource, research and education from the WRRI can help us make appropriate decisions for water use.â??The legislation authorizes a total of $94 million from 2006 to 2010 to carry out the Water Resources Research Act of 1984. That act requires the U.S. Geological Survey to provide grants to research and technology institutes at land-grant colleges and universities for research and education on water resources. The funds are distributed to each of the fifty states for WRRI programs to address water resources management problems such as abundance and quality of water supplies, the sources of water contaminants and methods of remediation, and the training of research scientists, engineers and technicians. The Idaho program website is http://www.boise.uidaho.edu/iwrri/.Crapo spearheaded the research program during his tenure as the chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Water. He also serves as the co-chairman of the Congressional Western Water Caucus. In 2001, the National Institute for Water Resources presented him with a leadership award for his efforts on behalf of water resource management.