NIWA and USGS to cooperate in water resources science


NIWA and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) signed an important bilateral scientific arrangement today.

The arrangement, which is to facilitate scientific and technical cooperation in water resources science, was signed at NIWA’s Wellington offices by United States Assistant Secretary of State Claudia McMurray and NIWA’s Acting Chief Executive Dr Bryce Cooper.

The arrangement will increase the exchange of relevant scientific and technical knowledge, training, equipment and capacity, says Assistant Secretary McMurray who heads the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Oceans, Environment and Science.

The cooperative arrangement is also expected to increase the number of exchange visits between scientists from both institutions and enhance cooperative research in areas of mutual interest. These may include, but are not limited to: water resources, natural hazards, biodiversity, and systems for capturing and disseminating environmental data.

"The U.S. Geological Survey is one of the largest and most respected water resources agencies in the world," says Dr Cooper. "As New Zealand confronts significant issues around water allocation, water quality, and the economic and human costs of floods and droughts, there is a need for us to have the best water resources science available so that the best solutions can be found. These issues are not peculiar to New Zealand, and this arrangement between NIWA and the USGS will allow New Zealand to benefit from the experiences of a world leading agency."

"In recent years, technology has driven a lot of change in how we research and manage our natural resources," adds Dr Cooper. "Both NIWA and the USGS have been innovative in finding better ways of collecting data on the environment, interpreting it, and delivering those findings to the public. This arrangement will allow us to coordinate our R&D activities to the benefit of both countries."

Additional information:

The USGS (part of the US Department of the Interior) is the largest water, earth, and biological science and civilian mapping agency in the United States. Its mission is to "[serve] the Nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life." For more information, see:

The National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research is a Crown Research Institute and New Zealand’s leading provider of environmental research and consultancy services. Its mission is to create and deliver innovative and unrivalled, science-based services and products that enable people and businesses to make best use of the natural environment and its living resources, and derive benefit from them in a sustainable manner. For more information, see:

NIWA Acting Chief Executive Dr Bryce Cooper presents US Assistant Secretary of State Claudia McMurray with a gift on the occasion of the signing of a cooperative arrangement between NIWA and the U.S. Geological Survey today. (Photo: Alan Blacklock, NIWA)