About Western Water Resources


WERA 1020, Western Water Resources, is a Western Education/Extension and Research Activity (WERA) Project formed in 2012 as a mechanism to continue efforts and programs previously conducted under the USDA-NIFA Regional Integrated Water Program, which has been discontinued.

WERA 1020 integrates water resources research, teaching, and outreach in the western U.S.

Our Goals Include:
  • Develop new multidisciplinary approaches to address water challenges specific to the West.
  • Develop new collaborative research and extension projects and programs that fit the needs of the western region to enhance and protect our water resources.
  • Increase awareness and knowledge of water quality issues and tools by Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists, conservation districts, landscapers, watershed managers, NRCS Technical Service Providers, and others.
  • Increase adoption and use of best management practices for water quality by farmers, ranchers, institutions and municipalities, range managers, custodians of natural areas, landscape professionals, homeowners, and others.
  • Increase adoption of water conservation measures and practices in western watersheds.
  • Improve food and water security in the West.

Project Objectives

Specifically, WERA 1020 has committed to the following efforts during its initial four year period:

  • Foster collaboration and synergy on programs to:
    • address priority water quantity and water quality challenges in the West.
    • create more linkages of expertise and knowledge among researchers and practitioners in multiple disciplines at western LGUs and partner public and private agencies.
    • develop specific annual outputs and outcomes.
  • Establish priorities for LGU work on western water resources.
  • Develop project proposals to address priority water issues and needs.
  • Sponsor a biennial, region-wide conference on “Water Resources in the West” (rotated throughout the region), highlighting the specific challenges of the region and seeking solutions.
  • Develop a web-based communications portal for LGU water programs and curricula that can be shared and adapted to different audiences and needs (e.g., general public, ag and urban professional development, K–12, agencies, universities, and local areas in different states).

Please view our Issues Area page to view the water-related topics our Project Team addresses.

Participants

WERA 1020 includes representation from the land-grant universities (LGUs) of the 14 western states, insular territories in the Pacific, and 1994 LGUs. Participating LGU’s include: University of Alaska, University of Arizona, University of California, Colorado State University, University of Hawaii, University of Idaho, Montana State University, University of Nevada, New Mexico State University, Oregon State University, South Dakota State University, Utah State University, Washington State University, and University of Wyoming.

Although this is primarily a LGU-based project, we encourage representation and participation from public and private agencies, partner institutions, non-governmental organizations, and other key stakeholders including: Tribal Colleges, Pacific Islands, State Water Boards, State Departments of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Districts, Environmental and Water NGOs, Family Farm Alliance, and Commodity Groups.

Please visit our Contact Us page to access our direct contact information.