The Decentralized Water Resources Collaborative (DWRC) improves the capacity of electric utilities, water and wastewater utilities, municipalities, engineers, contractors, regulators and other public and private entities to respond to the increasing complexities of, and expanding need for decentralized wastewater and stormwater systems.

The DWRC achieves this primarily through identification and support of research and development projects that address critical knowledge and information gaps in the decentralized wastewater and stormwater treatment fields.


The Decentralized Water Resources Collaborative (DWRC), more formally known as the National Decentralized Water Resources Capacity Development Project (NDWRCDP), is a cooperative effort funded by the U.S. EPA to support research and development on decentralized wastewater and stormwater systems. The DWRC is committed to advancing knowledge, science and training in decentralized systems in order to build the capacity of organizations and individuals to appropriately implement them. 

To truly advance the state of the decentralized field, it requires not only the work of engineers and technical specialists, but also educators, regulators, managers, and others all working together to solve problems. Therefore, the DWRC carries out its mission by conducting research in three, broad topical areas:

  • Environmental Science and Engineering
  • Management, Economics, and Policy
  • Training and Education

The cooperative partners on the DWRC provide a diverse approach whose breadth and expertise exceeds the capabilities of any single organization. The partnership includes:

WERF serves as the lead organization for the partnership and currently administers the EPA grant supporting this effort. The work is carried out through a combination of sub-grants to the individual partners and through competitive Request for Proposals (RFP). Contractors selected through the RFP process typically include qualified universities, consulting firms, non-profits, municipalities, and others. Volunteer subject matter experts provide peer review and guidance for the research.