Joint Subscriber Web Seminar for WRRF and WERF
Leadership from both foundations share the status of our merger activities, seek subscriber opinions, and respond to questions and answers.
(Recorded Friday, March 25, 2016)
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Planned Merger of WateReuse Research Foundation and the Water Environment Research Foundation
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 staff will remain with the WateReuse Association to help ensure its future success. We intend to ensure that the Association is in as strong of a position as it is in now 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?
As a small business, I can meet current WRRF contract requirements but may not be able to meet WERF contract requirements. 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 merged. Will WRRF Board divest from the WRA?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org