About

The Ohio Water Resources Center is the federally authorized and state-designated Water Resources Research Institute for the State of Ohio. Our mission is to enable and conduct state-relevant water-related research; foster collaboration among academic investigators, governmental bodies and water professionals; train the next generation of water scientists; and educate the public on water resources issues in Ohio. With evidence-based scientific information, we form links between water researchers and those who manage and use water.

About the Center

 

Two people looking into a white tub while conducting research next to a stream in a forested area.

Part of National Institutes for Water Resources, the Ohio Water Resources Center is the federally authorized and state-designated Water Resources Research Institute for the State of Ohio. Over the past decade, we have provided research funding for over 50 water-related projects. The impact of the Ohio WRC spans the entire state, funding and supporting research projects at many Ohio universities. These funds, although small in scope, provide critical support needed to seed innovative research ideas and provide crucial education for undergraduate, masters, and PhD student researchers. Thus, within the State of Ohio, the Ohio WRC has a unique and important role to foster the development of water resources expertise. The majority of students supported by the Ohio WRC continue on in water-related fields.

 

 

A group of people standing around a stage in front of a white tent that says "Welcome to the Children's Water Festival" on World Water Day.

Currently, Ohio WRC activities focus around the issues of water quality, water technologies, and water and energy. The Ohio WRC directors and associate director are active participants in many important local and national organizations that deal with water issues research, education, and policy decisions. In addition to supporting research, the Ohio WRC participates in and hosts a variety of water-related seminars, conferences, and outreach programs. The Ohio WRC’s community outreach efforts to the younger generations include sponsorship of the Ohio Water Education Program and Project WET, and participation in the Central Ohio Children’s Water Festival.

For more about the activities and focus of the Ohio WRC, read our 2018- 2022 strategic plan.

 

Our History

 

Two men wearing hard hats next to a sign for the McDaniels Test Mine, an Ohio State engineering research site.

Pursuant to the Water Resources Research Act of 1964, the Ohio Water Resources Center (WRC) is the federally-authorized and state-designated Water Resources Research Institute (WRRI) for the State of Ohio. The Ohio WRC was originally established in 1959 as part of the Engineering Experiment Station, at OSU’s College of Engineering, and conducted an extensive program of research on water and wastewater treatment processes. In 1964, the Water Resources Center at The Ohio State University was designated as the proposed Ohio Water Resources Research Iinstitute by Governor James A. Rhodes. This designation was approved at the federal level March 9, 1965, when the Ohio Water Resources Center became one of fourteen institutes throughout the nation to receive the initial federal allotment for water resources research under the Water Resources Research Act. Currently, there are 54 WRRI nationwide-one in each state, in addition to the District of Columbia, Guam and the Federated States of Micronesia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. At Ohio State, the Ohio WRC continues to be administered through the College of Engineering and has maintained a tradition of placing special emphasis on encouraging and supporting research in the area of physical, chemical and biological treatment processes for water and wastewater.

Every five years since 1964, the WRRI program has been reauthorized, and each year, Congress has appropriated funding. The WRRI program is currently administered through the U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior. In January 2000, and extended in 2007, 2012, and 2019, the Ohio WRC obtained special funding from the Ohio Water Development Authority to support activities of the Ohio WRC. As part of this grant, the Ohio WRC annually has conducted an in-state, Special Research Competition in Water and Wastewater Treatment Processes and Management. This competition is in addition to the two federally sponsored research grant competitions administered by the Ohio WRC. Furthermore, since 2013 the Ohio WRC has received yearly funding from The Ohio State University's Sustainability Institute (previously the Office of Energy and Environment) in order to support Ohio State research in the water and energy nexus area.

Advisory Board

Kate Bartter
Executive Director
Sustainability Institute

Sandy Eberts
Deputy Program Coordinator
USGS

Dorota Grejner-Brzezinska
Senior Associate Vice President
OSU, Office of Research

Brian Hall
Assistant Division Chief
Ohio EPA, Division of Surface Water

Ken Heigel
Assistant Executive Director
Ohio Water Development Authority

Tiffani Kavalec
Division Chief
Ohio EPA, Division of Surface Water

Amy Jo Klei
Division Chief
Ohio EPA, Division of Drinking and Ground Water

Gregory Nageotte
Executive Board
Water Management Association of Ohio
Grants and Watershed Administrator
Ohio Department of Agriculture

David Straub
Science Chief/Supervisory Hydrologist
USGS, Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Water Science Center

Christopher Winslow
Director
Ohio Sea Grant

History of Leadership

Feb 1965 - June 1969: Prof. George P Hanna, Environmental Engineering

July 1969 - July 1971: Dr. Donald R. Washington, Environmental Engineering

Aug. 1971 - Aug. 1973: Dr. Kenesaw S. Shumate, Chemical Engineering

Sept. 1973 - June 1995, Dr. Robert C. Stiefel, Environmental Engineering 

July 1995 - June 2006, Dr. E. Earl Whitlatch, Environmental Engineering

July 2006 - August 2011, Dr. Linda Weavers & Dr. Harold Walker, Environmental Engineering

September 2011 - August 2012, Dr. Harold Walker, Environmental Engineering 

September 2012 - Recent, Dr Linda Weavers & Dr. John LenhartEnvironmental Engineering