Institute for Water & Watersheds

Institute for Water & Watersheds

 

The Institute for Water and Watersheds (IWW) is the state water resources research institute for Oregon and is one of 54 state- or territory-based, institutes established by the 1964 Federal Water Resources Research Act. Through this program, the IWW receives federal matching funds from the US Geological Survey to support water resources research and technology transfer activities in Oregon. In this role, the IWW carries on the water research tradition established by The Oregon Water Resources Research Institute (OWRRI) which operated from 1960-2000 and the Center for Water and Environmental Sustainability (CWESt) which operated from 2000-2005. The IWW is a member of the National Institutes for Water Resources

If you are interested in learning more about our work, please contact Todd Jarvis.

IWW Core Work

Fire and Water Federal Initiative

Fire and Water Federal Initiative 

The Water Resources Development Act of 2022 will fund a proposal prepared by IWW for Oregon State University to conduct a study and other academic research on the associated impacts of wildfire on water resource ecology, water supply, quality, and distribution in the Willamette River Basin and to develop a water resource assessment and management platform for the Willamette River Basin as directed by the US Army Corps of Engineers. 

Lower Umatilla Groundwater Management Area

Lower Umatilla Groundwater Management Area 

After nearly thirty years of hydrogeologic investigations and implementing voluntary practices to reduce nitrogen input to the groundwater systems, Senate Bill 1562 was introduced in 2020 due to interest in developing an "implementation plan to improve groundwater quality and obtain full or partial removal of groundwater management area designation from Lower Umatilla Basin Groundwater Management Area.” DEQ policy staff drafted legislative concept (LC 580) to evaluate the efficacy of Oregon’s Groundwater Quality Act which includes the GWMAs. The Oregon Department of Agriculture is funding a postdoc housed at IWW to harmonize existing data collected over the past 30 years from various state agencies. 

Saline Lakes Restoration and Policy Options

Saline Lakes Restoration and Policy Options 

Global declines in endorheic basins—that is, basins that have no external surface drainage other than evapotranspiration or groundwater seepage—are not new. Lake Abert and Summer Lake in southeastern Oregon—the remnants of Lake Chewaucan—are also silently disappearing but without much fanfare, even though both lakes are important stops for migrating waterfowl and related ecotourism. IWW is working in concert with a University of Oregon Conflict Resolution Program graduate student on inventorying global engineering and policy responses to drying lakes for the Oregon Lakes Association and the Cheuwacan Basin Collaborative. 

Serious Gaming Research & Development

Serious Gaming Research and Development 

Serious gaming is a $11B business and is used in many fields such as Marine Resource Management, Land Use Planning, and Climate Change. How can water managers and mediators mitigate conflict over transboundary water resources regardless of the geographic scale? We believe the answer is social learning through serious gaming. IWW is regularly contacted to provide inventories of games for different applications, modify existing games to address specific issues, and is active in developing original games. 

Building upon media reports of the renewed peace between farmers and beavers in western US, a student hourly employee was hired by IWW to develop a board game to gamify the nexus between Beavers, Fish and Farmers using funding from the US Geological Survey Water Resources Research Act, Section 104(b) funds. 

See:

Workforce Development - Water

Workforce Development - Water

Water resources fields are suffering from a lack of new skilled and qualified technicians, scientists and engineers. The rate at which students and workers are entering these fields is declining and the average age of the workforce is increasing, with more retirements on the horizon. 

Business of Water (ecampus) 

The global water services industry is slated to exceed US$1 trillion in annual revenues. According to the World Economic Forum the global water crisis now tops nuclear weapons as the most serious threat to business and society. IWW is designing a course that will be the third in a series of eCampus courses connecting water and business students in the Water Resources Graduate Program and College of Business with a launch date in 2023 Spring term (class WRP 554). 

 

Applied Field Methods: Water Cooperation and Diplomacy Program (WRGP) 

Broadening the scope of approach to conflict and diplomacy, provide a more theoretical dimension to conflict, engage multi-level scales of conflict dimensions, and strengthen skills through highly experiential learning opportunities. Link to the Water Cooperation and Diplomacy Program website.

 

PSU Workforce Development 

This project is using USGS Section 104(b) funding awarded to the UPP: The Partnership Between the USGS and PSU to grow the pipeline of diverse, qualified workers who are prepared for careers in water science through regional partnerships and focused training pathways.  

Also see PSU's other water workforce development efforts:

  • Water@PSU. At PSU, undergraduate and graduate students pursue a broad range of degrees, minors, and certificates that connect with water. Unique partnerships, internships and research experiences provide the opportunity to explore disciplines and build professional skills.
  • Water@PSU: For Students. Many PSU departments offer water-related courses that will prepare you for careers in water science, including Geology, Geography, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Environmental Science and Management, Chemistry, Biology and more.
  • Water@PSU: Jobs & Resources. Here a variety of water-related job boards and career resources can be found. The sections are separated by opportunities in Oregon and across the US.

 

IWW Videos, Resources, & Reports

IWW Videos, Resources, & Reports

 

Reports 

Oregon Water Data Portal: HB 5006 Funding Final Report and Portal Recommendations Stage 1 (June 2023)

State of Water Justice in Oregon (2022) 

Oregon Water Futures Project Report (2021)

Statewide Water Roundtables Fall 2008: Synthesis Report - click on "download PDF" for the full report 

 

Videos 

Beneath the Same Sky (trailer 2) - Forthcoming sequel to Water Before Anything

Stormwater Solutions: A Documentary Film (2016)

50th Anniversary of the Institute for Water and Watersheds (formerly known as the Oregon Water Resources Research Institute) (2011)

Water Before Anything: Crisis and Transformation – Umatilla Groundwater (2009) 

 

Water ATLAS

Oregon Water Atlas (2017)

Water Quality Map. This map highlights water pollution issues in the Willamette River system. It was produced by the Corvallis Environmental Center and the Institute for Water and Watersheds and published in August of 2008. The map can be downloaded as a PDF -- map front, descriptive text from map backContact Todd Jarvis for a free copy (postage may apply).

Willamette River Basin Atlas - beautiful atlas of maps and natural resources information, prepared in 2002 by the Pacific Northwest Ecosystem Research Consortium.

Oregon Water Resource Education Programs

Oregon Water Resource Education Programs

Water-related education programs at Oregon’s public universities and community colleges and other water-related educational links.

Universities

Eastern Oregon University

 

Oregon Institute of Technology

 

Oregon State University

 

Oregon State University Cascades Campus

 

Portland State University

 

Southern Oregon University

 

University of Oregon

 

Western Oregon University

 

Regional Community Colleges

Clackamas Community College

 

Lane Community College

 

Linn-Benton Community College

 

Oregon Coast Community College

 

Umpqua Community College

 

Other Regional Resources & Training Programs

Oregon State University Extension Service (Water and Watersheds)

 

Oregon Sea Grant

 

Oregon Association of Water Utilities

 

Resources for Pre-K-12 Teachers & Students

Oregon State University Extension Service

 

Oregon Sea Grant

 

Willamette Water 2100

Oregon Water Resource Education Programs

Oregon Water Resource Education Programs

Water-related education programs at Oregon’s public universities and community colleges and other water-related educational links.

 

Universities

Eastern Oregon University

 

Oregon Institute of Technology

 

Oregon State University

 

Oregon State University Cascades Campus

 

Portland State University

 

Southern Oregon University

 

University of Oregon

 

Western Oregon University

 

Regional Community Colleges

Clackamas Community College

 

Lane Community College

 

Oregon Coast Community College

 

Umpqua Community College

 

Other Regional Resources & Training Programs

Oregon State University Extension Service (Water and Watersheds)

 

Oregon Sea Grant

 

Oregon Association of Water Utilities

 

Resources for Pre-K-12 Teachers & Students

Oregon State University Extension Service

 

Oregon Sea Grant

 

Willamette Water 2100