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Mammoth Cave River Styx

USGS Research Programs

KWRI manages a variety of research projects and provides technical support through contracts with local, state, federal, and non-governmental organizations. The KWRI is one of 54 state-level Water Resource Research Institutes of the US Geological Survey (USGS). KWRI administers several state-level USGS grant programs for water research, including the Annual Base Grants (104b) and National Competitive Grants (104g). The Annual Base Grants and National Competitive Grants make up the backbone of the USGS 104 program. More information about these programs can be found on the USGS website here.


One of the most important ways that KWRI supports research is through the administration of an annual base grant program authorized by the provisions of section 104b of the Water Resources Research Act of 1984. Under Section 104b of the Water Resources Research Act, annual base grants are awarded to serve the needs of the state, region, and nation by supporting and encouraging research and technology transfer in the area of water resources.  

Specifically, the 104b grants:

  1. Support the creation of a long-term linkage between universities, state agencies, and federal agencies for the solution of the nation's water problems;

  2. Provide support for a national network of water resources research institutes;

  3. Focus on state and regional water resources problems that can be solved by researchers at academic institutions; and

  4. Support research responsive to priority needs, seed projects, new and emerging career professionals, and quick transfer of results to users.

The current focus of the program is to provide small student enhancement grants to support research on water resource issues in a wide range of disciplines at any of Kentucky’s universities.


For more information, visit our Applications Page. 




Total Funding Spent on 104b supported research since 2002.



Projects funded through the KWRI 104b Grant Program since 2002

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Students involved in research through the KWRI 104b Grant Program since 2002.


Welcome to our interactive geospatial web application, your gateway to exploring water resources research projects funded by the Kentucky Water Resources Research Institute (KWRI) under the USGS 104b program since 2011. A guide is included below to help you get started.

  • Interactive Map: Discover projects by location with just a click. Each marker reveals details about the research conducted there, making it easy to navigate and learn about water resources efforts across Kentucky.

  • Search and Filter: Looking for something specific? Use our search feature to find projects by year, keywords, principal investigator names, or associated universities/colleges. It's a powerful tool to quickly pinpoint the information you need.

  • Timeline Navigation: Travel through time with our timeline feature, offering a year-by-year overview of projects. It's a visual journey through the evolution of water resource research priorities and initiatives.

  • Program Metric Graphs: Compare funding amounts and student involvement over the years with our interactive graphs. These visuals highlight the impact and reach of the 104b program, demonstrating KWRI's commitment to advancing water resources research and education.

Dive in to explore, learn, and engage with the cutting-edge research projects that are shaping the future of water resources in Kentucky.


The United States Geological Survey, in cooperation with the National Institutes for Water Resources, provides matching grants to support research on the topics of water supply and water availability. Any investigator at an institution of higher learning in the United States is eligible. Section 104g of the Water Resources Research Act of 1984 requires that this competitive grant program focus on, “water problems and issues of a regional or interstate nature beyond those of concern only to a single State and which relate to specific program priorities identified jointly by the Secretary (of the Interior) and the (water resources research) institutes.”

Objectives of this program include the following:

  1. Promote collaboration between the USGS and university scientists in research on significant national and regional water resources issues. Proposals exhibiting substantial collaboration between the USGS and the applicant are encouraged and will receive extra weight in the evaluation and selection process. Collaborative proposals should describe in detail the respective roles of the USGS and the applicant in the proposed work. It is anticipated in FY2020 the USGS will have internal funds available for modest support of USGS scientists on selected proposals. Potential applicants seeking collaborative opportunities are encouraged to contact USGS scientists directly  or Water Science Center Directors 


    2. Promote the dissemination and application of the results of the research funded under this program.

    3. Assist in the training of scientists in relevant water resource fields. Proposals that include a strong               

        educational component (student support) are encouraged, as are proposals from faculty beginning                  their careers.

        For more information, visit our Applications Page

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