Billions of gallons of water have flowed over the dam since the Water Resources Agency (WRA) Board came together for regional water planning and management in 1977. That year, the Cities of Newark and Wilmington joined with New Castle County to form a policy board and fund the Water Resources Agency for New Castle County. In 1990, the State of Delaware was added as the 4th voting member of the policy board. In 1998 the Governor’s office, the three local governments, and the University of Delaware authorized the Water Resources Agency to relocate to the University of Delaware's Newark campus as part of the Institute for Public Administration.
The University of Delaware Water Resources Agency provides water science and policy assistance to governments in Delaware and Delaware Valley through the public service, education, and research role of the University. After close to four decades of cooperation, the water resources accomplishments of the WRA Board of regional governments are significant and notable in the areas of policy, planning, and science. In September 2016, the Water Resources Agency became a program of the Water Resources Center.
For 40 years, the Water Resources Agency has provided water assistance to governments in Delaware through the land-grant public engagement (service), learning (education), and scholarship (research) role of the University of Delaware. A regional, intergovernmental approach is essential for water management since watersheds and aquifers cross many political jurisdictions. The Brandywine-Christina watershed in northern Delaware with headwaters in Maryland and Pennsylvania provides drinking water to a half million people and 2/3 of the population of Delaware, ¾ of New Castle County, and all of Newark and Wilmington. Public/private water purveyors deliver drinking water from sole source aquifers to 1/3 of the State in southern New Castle, Kent, and Sussex counties. Delaware watersheds contribute $6 billion annually to the First State economy and support 70,000 jobs and $2 billion in wages.