Senator Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, vice chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, praised a decision by the U.S. Geological Survey to partner with The University of Alabama to construct a new Hydrologic Instrumentation Facility, a state-of-the-art science and engineering facility that will support the agency’s Water Enterprise observing networks and research.
“I am pleased that the U.S. Geological Survey has chosen to relocate its Hydrologic Instrumentation Facility to The University of Alabama, a leading innovator in the field of water research and science. This new facility will expand on the Alabama Water Institute’s critical mission of furthering the study of water as a weather-related threat, as a resource, and for distribution. I look forward to the transformative discoveries that will come from this new partnership, as well as the economic benefit it will bring to Alabama,” Shelby said.
Through the Fiscal Year 2020 and Fiscal Year 2021 appropriations bills, Congress appropriated $38.5 million to replace the current aging USGS facilities located at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Stennis Space Center in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, with the requirement to collocate with complementary academic and federal partners.
UA was selected as the site of the new HIF for the opportunities it provides to dovetail with other water-related research and development already conducted on the university’s campus, including the National Water Center. The HIF, which is expected to increase economic development in the region, will serve a fundamental role at USGS in providing instrumentation and equipment services to USGS Science Centers and external partners.
The 95,000-square-foot, two-story facility will include a hydraulics lab, water quality labs, field testing facilities, environmental chambers, sensor innovation space, warehouse, training labs, network operations center, and administrative offices. Construction is expected to begin in late 2022, and the USGS plans to take occupancy in 2023.