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About

Our Mission

The Ohio Water Resources Center (WRC) enables and conducts (state-relevant) water resources research; fosters collaboration among academic investigators, governmental bodies and water professionals; trains the next generation of water scientists and educates the public on water resources issues in the State of Ohio.

As a National Institute for Water Resources, the Ohio WRC is the federally-authorized and state-designated Water Resources Research Institute for the State of Ohio. 

Strategic Plan (2018-2022)


The Ohio Water Resources Center (WRC) recently underwent a strategic planning exercise, which was an opportunity to step back and assess the Ohio WRC. Specifically, we looked at our national organization, the National Institutes for Water Resources (NIWR), The Water Resources Research Act, and other water centers and initiatives in Ohio to determine strategic directions and best opportunities for the Ohio WRC. The outcome is a set of six strategic goals and objectives to advance the Ohio WRC, along with metrics to measure our progress on these goals. Therefore, we will strive to:

  1. Improve the Ohio WRC visibility at the state and national level
  2. Enable investigators to compete for larger proposals
  3. Foster development of investigators' research activities toward state-relevant water issues
  4. Support innovative water technologies
  5. Train future water professionals
  6. Engage the public to be "water smart"

Read our 2018-2022 Strategic Plan

About the Center

As a Water Resources research Institute, the Ohio Water Resources Center (WRC) 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 managing 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, master’s, 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. Majority of supported students continue on in water-related fields.

Currently, Ohio WRC activities focus around the issues of water quality, water technologies, and water and energy. 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. 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.

Our History

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 District of Columbia, Guam and the Federated States of Micronesia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. At OSU, 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 re-authorized, 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 receives yearly funding from Ohio State University Office of Energy and Environment in order to support OSU research in the water and energy nexus area.