Water Resources Research Act Program


Water Resources Research Act Program (WRRA) activities are conducted under the authority of various pieces of authorizing legislation. Many of the primary authorizations that allow the USGS and WRRA to serve the American people are listed below, along with descriptions of either how the authorization relates to USGS or what WRRA activities are performed under a particular authorization.


General USGS Authorizations

The ORGANIC ACT OF MARCH 3, 1879, (43 U.S.C. 31 et seq.) that established the Geological Survey, as amended (1962); and restated in annual appropriation acts. This section provides, among others, that the Geological Survey is directed to classify the public lands and examine the geological structure, mineral resources, and products within and outside the national domain. This section also establishes the Office of the Director of the Geological Survey, under the Interior Department. The Director is appointed by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. P.L. 102-285 Sec. 10(a) establishes United States Geological Survey as its official name.  This is the original authorizing language to establish the USGS.

The ECONOMY ACT OF 1932, as amended (31 U.S.C. 1535) authorizes any agency to obtain goods and services from and reimburse any other agency if certain criteria are met. With over $100M in reimbursable work for other federal agencies each year, this is the underlying authorization that enables such agreements.


Authorizations for Specific WRRA Activities

The WATER RESOURCES RESEARCH ACT OF 1984 (as amended; 42 U.S.C. 10301 et seq.) provides for water resources research, information transfer, and student training in grants and contract programs that will assist the Nation and the States in augmenting their science and technology to discover practical solutions to water shortage and quality deterioration problems. In addition, this legislation establishes a Federal-State partnership in water resources research, education, and information transfer through a matching grant program that authorizes State Water Resources Research Institutes at land grant universities across the Nation. Under this authorization, the USGS supports, coordinates, and facilitates research through Annual Base Grants, National Competitive Grants, Coordination Grants to the National Institutes of Water Resources (NIWR), and in operating the NIWR-USGS Student Internship Program.