Privacy/Security

User Privacy Notice

Last Updated:  July 11, 2019

The Water Research Foundation (WRF) is an internationally recognized leader in sponsoring research that supports the water community in holistically and cooperatively managing water from all sources to meet social, environmental, and economic needs.

WRF’s research provides reliable and relevant solutions to the most critical challenges facing the water community today and into the future. Founded in 1966, WRF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that has sponsored more than 1,000 research projects and serves nearly 1,000 subscribing organizations.

WRF research projects are managed closely from their inception to the project deliverable by the staff and a large cadre of volunteers who willingly contribute their time and expertise. WRF provides planning, management, and technical oversight and awards contracts to other institutions such as water utilities, universities, and engineering firms to conduct the research.  Confidentiality agreements are signed by all WRF staff, committee members, and those with whom we contract.   

WRF operates in a heavily regulated business environment and its financial, business and programmatic responsibilities include the proper discharge of the Public Trust. As such, the Foundation is subject to a variety of regulations; including Federal legislation, Federal financial assistance law, Federal Pass-Through and Flow-Down provisions, Federal and state tax law and generally accepted accounting principles in the United States of America (GAAP).  The information that we collect on and off line from you is primarily processed and retained in response to complying with such business needs and fulfilling our mission to “advance the science of water to improve the quality of life”.  

WRF is committed to your privacy. We train all of our employees about the importance of privacy. This privacy notice explains our collection, use, disclosure, retention, and protection of your personal information that you provide to us in the course of using our website(s) or participating in research with The Water Research Foundation.   

Please be sure to read this Privacy Policy before using any WRF website or submitting information through a form. By using any of our websites, you consent to our use of your information as outlined in this Privacy Policy and accept the terms and conditions herein.

This Privacy Policy is current as of the date written above. WRF reserves the right to change our privacy policy as reasonably required to reflect changes to our website or business processes meant to enhance offerings to our subscribers.  Users should review this policy periodically to monitor any changes. Your continued use of our sites and services constitutes your acceptance of this entire Privacy Policy, as updated from time to time.

Policy Sections

  • Scope

    This privacy notice applies to The Water Research Foundation website(s) where this privacy notice is referenced, regardless of how you access or use them, including through mobile devices. Our websites may link to external sites or contain third-party developed web tools whose data collection and usage differ from our policy. If you intend to directly participate in research with WRF, you should review the sample contracts and agreements as they apply to you on this site under proposal contracts. You will be entering into legal agreements that require us to process and retain the information you provide. The information provided on The Water Research Foundation website(s) is intended for high-level scientific research. It is not intended for persons under the age of full legal responsibility and we request that minors not submit personal information to WRF. 

  • Your Personal information

    Personal Information is information relating to an identifiable natural person thru values such as a name, email, address, phone, gender, resumes, and materials you order or download. You provide that information to The Water Research Foundation in the course of requesting information or other self-initiated actions you take on our website(s).

    We do not consider personal information to include information that has been anonymized, pseudonymized, or aggregated so that it can no longer be used to identify a specific natural person, whether in combination with other information or otherwise.

  • Information We Collect on our Website(s)

    We collect personal information from you when you:

    • Request a site login, whether you are granted a login or not. Access to restricted site content is given to WRF subscribers.
    • Request material usage permission
    • Submit a research idea
    • Sign up as a PAC or Utility volunteer on our research projects
    • Express Interest in a Lift Focus Area
    • Interact with the LIFT Link website
    • Provide feedback to WRF
    • Request a proposal login to submit a research proposal for funding consideration
    • Submit a proposal in response to an RFP or by invitation to a Tailored Collaboration project
    • Order or download research materials on waterrf.org
    • Sign up to attend a webcast Sign up to attend a workshop
    • Sign up for our newsletters
    • Nominate someone for an Annual Research Award
    • Provide a photo of yourself or pose in group photos

    The information you provide is accessible to only those employees or technical providers who require it to perform their jobs. When it serves to further research collaboration, WRF may share your involvement report, website attendance, or contact details. Staff is sensitive to what is shared and may reach out to obtain your permission or ask you to initiate contact.

  • How we process your personal information when you:
    • Request a site login
      Employees of subscribing organizations will be entered into our association management software, using the information you provide and given a username / password. You are responsible for maintaining the secrecy of your username / password and are restricted from sharing your credentials. Employees who leave their subscribing employer will lose their login credentials.    
      Individuals who do not belong to a subscribing organization will not be given access to subscriber materials and may be contacted by staff to explain our subscription policy. Although not given access to subscriber materials, a “web account” will be created to allow access to non-subscriber materials. A cookie will be set on your browser once you provide basic information that will allow continued non-subscriber material access. Staff may make a record for you in our association management software. We encourage you to consult help in your web browser for more information about and how to delete cookies.
    • Submit a research idea
      WRF staff receive an email with your research idea. They will review and respond to your submission, usually within 7 business days. The details of your submission is kept on file indefinitely in a file storage system. Staff may share your research idea internally if there is greater interest.
    • Request material usage permission
      WRF staff receive an email with your request.  They will review and respond to your request, usually within 7 business days. The details of your request, if permission is granted, is kept on file indefinitely in a file storage system. The request may be shared internally to measure interest or noted by publication name to highlight a citation of our work.
    • Sign up as a PAC or Utility volunteer on our research projects
      WRF staff receive an email with the data you provide on your volunteer submission. The actual form and any CV / resume details you provide are stored indefinitely in a database and file storage system and may be used as a consideration for future volunteer opportunities. Utility volunteers who are selected to participate will be displayed on the last page of an RFP with their full contact details to aide in the preparation of a proposal.
    • Express Interest in a Lift Focus Area
      Staff will review the information you submit when you ask to be considered for a LIFT Working Group or Volunteer Experts Pool and you will be contacted with further information. Given the collaborative nature of the LIFT program, some or all of the information you provide may be shared with partners in the interest of fostering collaboration or generating insight and is NEVER sold. We always post what is done with your information at the top of the page.
    • Interact with the LIFT Link website
      Participation on the LIFT Link website is subject to its own privacy policy. Please review the terms here: https://liftlink.werf.org/privacy
    • Provide feedback to WRF
      WRF staff receive an email with your feedback. They will review and respond to your feedback, usually within 7 business days. The details of your feedback is kept on file indefinitely in a file storage system and it may be shared with the appropriate people in order to take action on your feedback if appropriate.
    • Request a proposal login to submit a research proposal for funding consideration
      Logins for the purpose of responding to an RFP will be given usually within 7 business days. You will be entered into our association management software, using the information you provide and given a username / password. You are responsible for maintaining the secrecy of your username / password and are restricted from sharing that password with others.
    • Submit a proposal in response to an RFP or by invitation to a Tailored Collaboration project
      Documents you submit as part of our proposal submission process are stored on the proposal site and in our file storage system. They will be processed by staff according to procedures outlined in the proposal guidelines which are available on this site under Proposal Guidelines. Retention policies govern the longevity of your submission.
    • Order or download research materials on waterrf.org
      When you are logged into the website and download materials or call to request materials, that action is written into our association management software as an order placed by you. Requests for printed material may be processed by our publication fulfillment house. A history of your orders is compiled to appear on your subscribing organizations Involvement Report. Download of non-subscriber materials are tracked under the user web account.
    • Sign up to attend a webcast
      When you register for a webcast, your information is stored with our webcast provider to give you access to the webcast and allow you repeat viewing. If you register with your organizational ID, your participation is written into our association management software. A history of your attendance is compiled to appear on your subscribing organizations Involvement Report. Comments or questions you submit during the webcast are reviewing by staff and shared with the presenter(s) without personally identifiable data. It is also shared with WRF research managers, senior management or regional liaisons who have an interest in your engagement with WRF.
    • Sign up to attend a workshop
      When you register for a workshop, your information is stored on an attendance list.  It may be used to communicate specific workshop details with you. The registration list is kept on that site until workshop organizers request its removal. A history of your attendance may be entered into our association management software and appear on your subscribing organizations Involvement Report.  Comments or questions maybe captured by the presenters during your event participation.
    • Sign up for our newsletters
      You may opt in or out of receiving our newsletters or manage your communication preference in the footer of any newsletter. Email communication that is essential to our business operation, such as invoicing or contracting cannot be excluded.
    • Nominate someone for an Annual Research Award
      Information you provide for consideration in our annual research awards is reviewed by staff and a Board committee. That information is stored indefinitely on our files shares.
    • Submit your photo or participate in group photos
      A professional photo that you submit will be used for the purpose of which it was intended, such as in a speaker presentation slide deck. That photo may remain with your presentation indefinitely on the website.  Group photos of committees may be posted on our website(s), in newsletters, or printed materials such as the annual report.
  • Browser-based tracking

    Your user name, Internet service provider's domain name, browser, and operating system are automatically recognized by our web server. This information becomes part of our website statistics and is used to determine the value of our web pages and to monitor our web traffic.  

    Our website uses cookies and similar technologies for storing settings, enabling you to sign-in, providing page personalization, analyzing how our site performs, and fulfilling other legitimate purposes. Cookies offer a seamless browsing experience. A cookie is a small program that resides on your computer hard drive and is for use with The Water Research Foundation website(s) only. Cookies do not act maliciously on computer systems. They are merely text files that can be deleted at any time by the user, however without these cookies, certain functionality may become unavailable or unusable. Cookies cannot be used to spread viruses and they cannot access your hard drive. We encourage you to consult help in your web browser for more information about and how to delete cookies.

  • Offline Collection of Personal Data

    During the course of engagement with The Water Research Foundation, your personal data may be collected when you share your business card with staff, you participate in project research as a volunteer or survey respondent, serve on committees, attend conferences, etc. Those interactions may be entered into our association management software and newsletters of interest may be assigned to your personal record. If you have expressed an interest in particular research topics, staff may reach out to inform you of upcoming related research.

    If you have committed to project participation or funding, you will be entering into legal agreements that require us to process and retain the information you provide. Any particular funding agreement will spell out the details and requirements you are entering into.

  • Third-party service providers

    To bring you the most cost-effective site enhancements, The Water Research Foundation may partner with a third party technology provider, such as an e-newsletter service or social media platforms. When partnering with a third-party service provider, we will not share any more information than is necessary for the service, and we will make every reasonable effort to assure, by contract or otherwise, that the third party uses our technology and services in a manner that is consistent with this privacy policy.

  • Information Security

    We have appropriate security measures in place at our physical facilities to protect against the loss, misuse, or alteration of information that we have collected from you at our site. Staff and volunteers of The Water Research Foundation sign confidentiality agreements annually and staff are required to take regularly scheduled cyber security training.

  • Disclaimer and Notices

    Indemnification
    You agree to fully indemnify The Water Research Foundation and to hold The Water Research Foundation harmless from any and all claims, demands, actions, or litigations (including reasonable attorneys' fees and costs) resulting from your acts, omissions, or representations in any way related to your access to, and/or use of, The Water Research Foundation website(s).

    Waiver/severability
    Any failure by The Water Research Foundation to enforce any provision of this policy shall not be construed as a continuing waiver of any rights under such provision. If any provision of this policy shall be unlawful, void, or for any reason unenforceable, then that provision shall be deemed severable from this policy and shall not affect the validity and enforceability of any remaining provisions. From time to time, we may use customer information for new, unanticipated uses solely within our organization not previously disclosed in our privacy notice. If our information practices change at some time in the future, we will post the policy changes to our website(s) and notify you of these changes. If you are concerned about how your information is used, you should check back at our website(s) periodically.

    Limitation of liability and disclaimer of warranty:
    The Water Research Foundation assumes no responsibility and shall not be liable for any damages to, or viruses that may infect, your computer equipment or other property on account of your access to, use of, or browsing in this site or your downloading of any materials from our website(s).

    While The Water Research Foundation attempts to convey accurate and current information our website(s), the information provided may contain typographical or technical errors. you are advised to confirm the accuracy of any information presented on our website(s) before relying on it in any way. Neither The Water Research Foundation nor any other party involved in creating, producing, or delivering our website(s) are liable for any direct, incidental, consequential, or indirect damages arising out of your access to, or use of, our website(s). Without limiting the foregoing, everything on our website(s) is provided to you "as is" without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties or merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or non-infringement. In no event will The Water Research Foundation be liable to any party for any direct, indirect, punitive, special, incidental, or other consequential damages arising directly or indirectly from any use of our website(s), even if The Water Research Foundation is expressly advised of the possibility of such damages. 

    The Water Research Foundation makes no representations about any technical information, advice, or report available on our website(s). Users should contact qualified personnel to review any information on our website(s) to determine its efficacy and applicability before any use. Placement of information on this site is not an endorsement or sponsorship of the creators or authors of the information. The display of The Water Research Foundation trademark or logo does not constitute an endorsement of any person or any product or service offered by such person.

Our Privacy Promise
Our promise is based upon our foundational values of integrity, respect, and collaboration. We promise to collect, use, and store your personal data in a safe and secure way.

 

Questions

If you have an unresolved privacy or data use concern that we have not addressed satisfactorily, please contact us. We will do our best to respond to all inquiries within 30 days.