INL News Release
July 15, 2011

Reuel Smith, 208-521-4910,
Misty Benjamin, 208-351-9900,

Note to editors and producers: A media availability with prominent regional water officials will begin at 11 a.m. Monday outside the Olympus Ballroom at Marriott City Center, 220 S. State St.

Mountain West Water Institute convenes inaugural workshop

SALT LAKE CITY — Economies rely upon sufficient water for energy, recreation, agriculture and good living standards. Regional water agencies and institutions are forming the Mountain West Water Institute. MWWI is holding its first workshop in Salt Lake City starting Monday, July 18, to improve and accelerate the delivery of science-based, critical information that decision-makers, water stewards and users need to influence courses of action.

Roughly 60 representatives from surrounding states, universities, industry, local governments and federal agencies plan to participate. Those attending will contribute to the institute's creation, form a Board of Advisors and announce selected first-round research teams that will go on to the second-round competition for an initial $1 million in research grants available beginning in October 2011.

The MWWI will be a regional science and technology research institution dedicated to delivering science-based solutions to ensure sufficient clean water to meet current and future needs in the face of population growth, energy production and economic development, and climate variability. The institute aims to provide local, state and federal water stewards with consistent science, technology, information and tools to adapt to the dynamic nature of water availability and quality.

Idaho National Laboratory serves as the coordinating partner for the MWWI and has a long history of innovation in water, energy and environmental research relevant to the Western Energy Corridor. INL will join other collaborators at this workshop to pursue a common vision for sustaining natural resources, including water and energy, as well as economic development in the region.

Workshop participants will include representatives from:

• Western States Water Council (representing 18 Western states, based in Salt Lake City)
• Water Research Institutes from Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, Oregon and Washington
• Western Governors’ Association
• U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
• U.S. Geological Survey
• U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
• U.S. Bureau of Land Management

Read more about the workshop at its website:

INL is one of the DOE's 10 multiprogram national laboratories. It performs work in each of DOE's strategic goal areas: energy, national security, science and environment, and is the nation's leading center for nuclear energy research and development. Its day-to-day management and operation is the responsibility of Battelle Energy Alliance.

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