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Foundation Merger News

The WateReuse Research Foundation and the Water Environment Research Foundation have announced the merger of their organizations, effective May 6, 2016. The new not-for-profit powerhouse, called the Water Environment & Reuse Foundation (WE&RF), brings together a rich portfolio of research in water, wastewater, and stormwater, valued at more than $200 million.

The WateReuse Association continues to operate as a separate organization to educate policymakers and the public about the benefits of water reuse and to advocate for laws, policy and funding to increase water reuse.

Frequently Asked Questions

Joint Subscriber Webcast

Updates

December 22, 2015
Merger timeline and process update sent to WRRF members

December 21, 2015
Merger plan announced to media

December 19, 2015
Merger plan announced to WERF, WRRF, and WRA Subscribers and Members

Frequently Asked Questions

Will the merger have an impact on existing partnerships with other organizations?

Both foundations have a history of successful partnerships with other water groups. We anticipate that those partnerships will flourish through the combined foundation.

Will the research portfolio change as a result of the merger?

The combined foundation will offer a research portfolio intended to transfer knowledge which integrates specific areas of emphasis. We anticipate eliminating redundancies in our portfolios and enhancing the complimentary aspects of our portfolios.

Will the leadership and volunteer opportunities change as a result of the merger?

The combined foundation will be governed by a board of directors composed of members of the current boards of each foundation. A volunteer leadership committee will guide the direction of our research portfolio. We anticipate continuing our strong tradition of expert volunteer peer review of our research throughout the life of the research project.

Will dues and subscription rates change as a result of the merger?

The dues each organization pays to each foundation will remain the same for 2016. New rates will be available in 2017; however, there will be a transition period while we determine the best way for the research needs to be funded to maximize funder return on investment.

Will there be staff changes as a result of the merger?

The combined foundation will include the staff of both research foundations. The WateReuse research staff will merge with that of the Water Environment Research Foundation, while the other WateReuse staff will remain with the WateReuse Association to help ensure its future success. We intend to ensure that the Association remains strong while building a new, combined, research foundation.

Will merger delay start of near term research projects?

No, both research foundations will continue to implement their planned research on the approved schedules.

Will WERF’s in-kind contribution approach continue?

In-kind contributions and matches are one of the many keys to the success of both research foundations’ portfolios. A committee of the combined board of directors will work to clarify this and any other questions regarding research program policies and operations.

Have you discussed the merger with the major funding agencies EPA and USBR?

Yes, our Executive Director has discussed the planned combined research foundation with all of our Federal funding agencies.

One of the key resource recovery issues of interest is managing organic wastes as a resource. That issue cuts across other sectors, notably solid waste management, composting and biogas. How will the new structure facilitate integrated research, etc. with external but like-minded organizations?

Both foundations have a history of successful partnerships with many organizations to integrate our research. We anticipate that those partnerships will flourish through the combined foundation.

How will contractual requirements for research contracts such as minimum accounting, insurance, and legal change?

A committee of the combined Board of Directors will work to clarify this and any other questions regarding research program policies and operations.

Last year the Boards of WRA and WRRF implemented a merger plan. Will the WRRF Board divest from the WRA Board?

The two reuse organizations have independent boards of directors. However, several of the members serve on both boards. The WRA board will retain its current composition. The WRRF board will join the WERF board to lead the combined research foundation.

How will existing research projects with one or the other Boards be managed by the new Board, and over what timeframe will the consolidation of research happen?

Existing research projects will proceed as planned. A committee of the combined board of directors will work to clarify questions regarding research program policies and operations. Research consolidation will focus on future projects.

Can you provide a brief overview of how an agency can propose a research topic or a specific project need?

For now, there will not be any changes in how research topics are identified. Using the same approach as was used in the past will continue to be effective. A committee of the combined board of directors will work to clarify questions regarding research program policies and operations. We hope to have a combined process in place by January 2017.

Who should we contact with further questions?

Melissa Meeker is the Executive Director for both research foundations. She can be reached at mmeeker@werf.org or mmeeker@watereuse.org.

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