Emerging Opportunities Program

The Emerging Opportunities (EO) Program enables WRF Staff to sponsor time-critical research on emergent, high-priority subscriber issues. The program also allows us to commit funding for subscriber-relevant research ideas developed by approved partner organizations, as well as add additional funding to existing research projects. Ten percent of WRF's annual research budget is directed to the EO program.

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Individual projects are submitted by WRF staff to the EO Staff Committee, which makes recommendations on a quarterly basis to the CEO. Worthy projects are evaluated and approved for funding by the Board of Directors Executive Committee throughout the year, subject to need and available funding. 

EO projects are usually of short duration (6-18 months) and typically range in value from $25,000 to $100,000. The project funding maximum is $200,000.

Project add-ons are limited to $25,000.

Partnership projects encourage matching funds from our approved partners. 


  • This is a staff-driven program
  • The viability of projects is determined based on time sensitivity, breadth and depth of impact, and applicability to emerging issues in the water sector.

Our Tailored Collaboration Program allows subscribing utilities to propose projects for matching funds and our Unsolicited Research Program allows individuals to submit proposals for novel, transformative research and innovation projects.

Funded Projects

The following projects have been funded by our Emerging Opportunities Program.


Please contact Julie Minton, Research Unit Leader, with questions about the Emerging Opportunities Program.