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	For Release:   IMMEDIATELY

	For More Information:  James Hurley,  Assistant Director for
Research, (608) 262-1136


	MADISON, Wis. (3/23/01) -- Senator Kohl announced today that the
University of Wisconsin Water Resources Institute has received a federal
grant of $75,000 to investigate the state's water supply and water quality
problems.  Kohl said the grant will be supplemented with $150,000 in
additional funds from the state of Wisconsin and other local sources.  

	"This federal-state partnership affords us the opportunity to tackle
problems that are of concern to Wisconsin and to the rest of the nation as
well," said Anders W. Andren, director of the institute.  

	The institute's three new projects this year are examples of this
work, Andren said.  They each focus on a contaminant in the waters of
Wisconsin and other states:

	Mercury --  Researchers are examining how methylmercury (the toxic
form of mercury in the environment) is produced in groundwater, how it
passes into rivers and lakes, and how land use and vegetation affect these

	Arsenic --  Arsenic levels have exceeded federal safety standards in
hundreds of private and public Wisconsin wells.  Researchers are
investigating ways to remove this naturally-occurring toxic chemical from
groundwater and drinking water in treatment facilities and individual water
supply systems.

	Nitrate --  Nitrate is an increasingly widespread and mostly
uncontrolled groundwater contaminant.  Researchers in this project are
measuring the amounts of nitrate entering Wisconsin aquifers, the amounts
that are exported into streams and lakes, and the amounts that are converted
into harmless nitrogen gas.

	The grant will also support the transfer of the institute's research
results and other water-related information through its Web site, a library,
conferences, and scientific reports.

	The Web site (www.wri.wisc.edu) contains a directory of more than
800 Wisconsin water experts, a guide to finding water-related jobs, a guide
to finding information on water resources, pages for parents and children
seeking information about water, and information on all projects supported
by the institute.  

	The library collection covers all major topics in water resources
and is particularly strong in Wisconsin and Great Lakes water resources
issues, groundwater protection, wetlands issues, and impacts of agricultural
chemicals. The library also has many publications from the 53 other state
Water Resources Research Institutes.

	The WRI is also currently supporting 19 other research projects
addressing issues and problems related to drinking water, groundwater,
surface water, and interactions between ground and surface water.  In
addition, the WRI provides support and training for graduate and
undergraduate students in a variety of disciplines.

	Faculty, staff, and students at four University of Wisconsin System
campuses (UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee, UW- UW-Stevens Point, and UW-Parkside),
the University of Wisconsin-Extension, the Wisconsin State Laboratory of
Hygiene, the U.S. Geological Survey, and individuals in private industry are
participating in projects supported through the WRI.  

	# # # #

	The Wisconsin Water Resources Institute is one of 54 institutes
nationwide charged with addressing problems of water supply and water
quality at local, state, regional, and national levels.  The institutes are
partnerships among state universities; federal, state, and local
governments; businesses and industries; and nongovernmental organizations.

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