Celebrating the Texas Water Resources Institute: 50 years of the Water Resources Research Act
First established in 1952, TWRI was designated as the water resources institute for the state of Texas in 1964 by the Texas Legislature and Texas Governor after Congress passed and President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Water Resources Research Act (WRRA) of 1964.
“Abundant, good water is essential to continued economic growth and progress,” said President Johnson at the time in a prepared statement.
The WRRA established water resources institutes in each state and provided funds for research on solving water issues. Today, TWRI is one of 54 institutes in the National Institute for Water Resources, which serves as the contact between individual institutes and the federal funding sponsor, U.S. Geological Survey.
TWRI helps solve pressing water issues by providing needed expertise and interdisciplinary partnerships. We also deliver important water information to citizens and professionals. Our work centers around three program areas: water quality improvement, water sustainability and security and water resources outreach and training.
A timeline of TWRI's history
- 1952: Water Research and Information Center established
- 1963: The Center is renamed the Water Resources Institute
- 1964: Dr. Ernest T. Smerdon named as Director; Texas A&M University designated as the Water Resources Institute
- 1968: Dr. Jack R. Runkles named Director
- 1971: The Institute is renamed the Texas Water Resources Institute
- 1983: Dr. Wayne Jordan named Director
- 2000: Dr. C. Allan Jones named Director
- 2001: Congress funds the Rio Grande Basin Initiative (RGBI)
- 2005: RGBI receives the Vice Chancellor's Awards in Excellence for the Industry/Agency/University/Association Partnerships category
- 2006: Fort Hood Range Revegetation Pilot Project wins the Texas Environmental Excellence Award (TEEA) in the agriculture category
- 2006: RGBI wins the Vice Chancellor's Awards in Excellence in the Research Team category
- 2007: RGBI wins the USDA-CSREES National Water Program Award for Outstanding Integrated Activities for Water Resources
- 2008: RBGI wins the TEEA in the agriculture category
- 2008: The Fort Hood Range Revegetation Pilot Project wins the 2008 Vice Chancellor's Awards in Excellence - Partnerships/Industry/Agency/University Team
- 2009: Dr. B.L. Harris named Acting Director
- 2011: Dr. Neal Wilkins named Director
- 2012: The Arroyo Colorado Watershed Partnership wins the TEEA in the civic/community category
- 2012: Dr. Roel Lopez named Interim Director of TWRI
- 2013: The Buck Creek Watershed Partnership wins the TEEA in the agricultural category
- 2014: The Bacterial Source Tracking Team, which includes Associate Director Dr. Kevin Wagner, wins the 2014 College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Dean’s Outstanding Achievement Award for Interdisciplinary Research