The Water and Environmental Research Institute of the Western Pacific (WERI) was established at the University of Guam in May 1975.  It is one of 55 institutes established by U.S. Congressional legislation at each Land Grant University in the United States and in several territories.  Originally named Water and Energy Research Institute of the Western Pacific, WERI changed its name in 1998 in line with expanding research interests in water related areas of other disciplines, e.g., meteorology, geology, hydrology, geohydrology, engineering, environmental toxicology, environmental chemistry, mapping and modeling.

The role of the Institute is to facilitate and conduct high quality research that addresses water problems and water-related phenomena; train students, teachers and future water resource professionals, and disseminate research results to the community at large.  Base support for WERI comes from the Water Resources Research Institute (WRRI) 104-B Program administered through the U.S. Geological Survey.  The Institute also seeks funding for research projects from local and other federal sources.

Consistent with the regional role of the University, the Institute devotes part of its program effort to Western Pacific islands other than Guam. It is the only research center of its type in this geographic area and endeavors to respond to the unique conditions that exist here.  WERI officially became the first Regional Water Resources Research Institute in the WRRI program by extending its mission to the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) in 1991 and to the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas (CNMI) in 1997.  This designation has opened a broad new spectrum of research and service opportunities for the University of Guam.

WERI works closely with an Advisory Council established for each of its three regional entities.  Each council is composed of representatives from various government departments that deal with water and water related issues, public and private sector engineers, environmentalists and planners as well as academics and interested members of the community.  The Institute draws from the varied expertise of its research faculty members, University of Guam faculty, research affiliates from other universities, and local professionals.

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