About Us / Mission

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The University of Wisconsin Water Resources Institute (UW-WRI) promotes research, training and information dissemination to effectively confront water resources problems. It was formed in 1964 and is one of 54 such institutes at land grant universities in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam. The institutes are the primary link between water experts at the nation’s universities and those who manage and use water. Collectively, the programs are known as the Water Resources Research Institute Program, which is authorized by the Water Resources Research Act of 1984. The program is administered by the U.S. Geological Survey. The UW-WRI is housed in the Aquatic Sciences Center (ASC) of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. ASC also houses the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute, which has a complementary mission of research, education and outreach related to water – the coastlines and estuaries of the Great Lakes.

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The University of Wisconsin Water Resources Institute coordinates research that works to address present and emerging water quality, quantity and management challenges.

Land and Water Acknowledgement

The University of Wisconsin Water Resources Institute’s work takes place in the state of Wisconsin. We acknowledge we are guests on the traditional homelands of the Anishinaabe, Ho-Chunk, Menominee and Potawatomi peoples.

We are an organization working for diverse, thriving ecosystems and communities. We embrace the value of both Western scientific approaches and local Indigenous knowledge to strengthen our relationships with the waters, land and peoples of Wisconsin.

This water and land acknowledgment is a reminder of elements of our setting that have been overlooked, ignored or misrepresented by the dominant stories and teachings of American history. We must face the outcomes of unjust treaties and land granting systems, dispossession and harm caused by our university’s past complicity with policies of cultural and physical genocide as we seek reconciliation with the 12 First Nations of Wisconsin.

With humility and openness, we pledge to do the hard work of reflection and truth-telling to move toward a more just future.