Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) today announced he has restored $6.5 million in federal funding for the Water Resources Research Act, which funds the New York State Water Resources Institute (WRI) at Cornell University, as well as other institutes across the country. The administration's Fiscal Year 2013 budget had called for the elimination of funding for the Water Research Act, which provides money to the program at Cornell. Hinchey used his position on the House Appropriations Interior Subcommittee to have the funding restored in the Fiscal Year 2013 Interior appropriations bill.
The WRI is currently studying how New York's water resources can be affected by shale gas extraction and global climate change. The Institute also works to assess the importance of water resources to local economies in collaboration with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Hudson River Estuary Program.
"Cornell University is helping to lead the way with its critical research on the impact that shale gas extraction has on water resources," Hinchey said. "Along with its work in conjunction with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Hudson Estuary Program to study the importance of water resources to local economies, Cornell University's Water Resources Institute plays a critical role in helping ensure our water supplies are clean. I was very disappointed that this important funding was slated to be cut, but am pleased that I was able to use my position on the House Appropriations Interior Subcommittee to restore it."
"I am very happy to thank Congressman Hinchey for his continued support for the Water Resources Research Act (WRRA) and for working to secure continued funding for the WRRA," said Susan J. Riha, Director of the New York State Water Resources Institute. "With the best available science, we can ensure that the decisions we make about drinking water are based on the best research. Water Resources Institutes are in every state across the country and with the Congressman's efforts we can continue to provide critical research data and outreach to policy makers and regulatory agencies at every level of government."
The Institute's mission is to increase awareness of emerging water resources issues and to identify ways to improve the management of water resources in New York State and beyond. The Water Resources Institute acts as a bridge to foster communication and knowledge exchange between the various stakeholder groups, government agencies, and research institutions that are engaged with water resources management in New York State. In addition, the WRI has developed strong working relationships with federal agencies such as the United States Geological Survey, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Now that the Interior Subcommittee has approved Fiscal Year 2013 Interior Appropriations bill, which includes funding for the WRI program, the measure will move to the full House Appropriations Committee for a vote.