Established in 1964, the Iowa Center (IWC) is a federally funded program. Its purposes are to

  • identify research needs and fund selected projects about Iowa’s water quality, water quantity, and the human dimensions of water-resources management
  • provide outreach and education opportunities to familiarize water-resource professionals, teachers, and students with current research about Iowa’s water resources
  • disseminate information about Iowa’s water resources to water-resource specialists, teachers, students, policymakers, and the general public.

The Center is part of a national network created by the U.S. Congress in 1964 when it enacted Public Law 88-379, the Water Resources Research Act. The goal was to form a comprehensive research-based structure that could join with state and local agencies in safeguarding the nation’s water resources. Since 1964 Congress has reauthorized the act several times, without altering the original intent.
Today, there are 54 institutes or centers, one in each state and also in the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The U.S. Geological Survey administers the network, while the National Institutes of Water Resources facilitates network activities and provides information about each institute, their common goals, and the nation’s water resources.
The 1964 act called for institutes to be located nation’s land grant universities. This placed the Iowa Water Center on the campus of Iowa State University. A director and an advisory board set the direction and guide the operations of the Iowa Water Center.

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