The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded more than $8.5 million in grants to 10 universities on March 22 in honor of World Water Day.
The grants will be used to improve water resource quality and quantity. The USDA will also serve as permanent co-chair on the National Drought Resilience Partnership.
“Access to a sufficient and safe supply of water is critical to our nation’s health and also to our economy, and we must act to protect this precious resource,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. “The grants we are announcing today are the latest of many steps USDA has taken to help communities who are struggling with water quality. Enhanced federal coordination through the National Drought Resilience Partnership (NDRP) will further support locally-led drought resilience projects to improve residents’ access to water and increase the effectiveness and sustainability of American agriculture.”
The NDRP was developed by the Presidential Memorandum: Building National Capabilities for Long-Term Drought Resilience to help drought-vulnerable communities sustain and expand efforts to reduce the impact of drought.
The 10 universities awarded grants were Colorado State ($2.4 million), the University of Maryland ($3.4 million), the University of Montana ($486,621), North Carolina State ($484,990), Stockholm Environment Institute U.S. ($484,764), the University of Southern California ($485,000), the University of California, Riverside ($126,181), Texas A&M ($499,895), Penn State ($49,188) and Universidad Metropolitana in San Juan, Puerto Rico ($50,000).