The three-fold mission of WRRI is:
1. To conduct research on water resources and related areas,
2. To assist in the training of students and water resources professionals
3. To provide information exchange in the area of water resources, not only locally and regionally, but on a national and international level.
An advisory board consisting of representatives from local and federal government, private agencies and citizen groups assists WRRI in developing its priority areas. This guidance has resulted in the Institute program historically being responsive to local needs. A major focus of research has been on the use of rain water cistern systems for domestic water supply. WRRI has extensively examined the quantity, quality and management aspects of this source of water which is required by law in the Virgin Islands.
WRRI operates a well-equipped meteorological station, water quality laboratory and geographical information systems laboratory on the St. Thomas campus of UVI. In addition to their research support roles, these facilities are used for demonstrations and to provide exposure and training in water resources areas to students that WRRI regularly employs and the general public.
The Water Resources Research Institute considers the input and exchanges that collaboration provide as essential for the successful execution of its mission. Research is conducted jointly with local agencies such as the Department of Planning and Natural Resources and the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority and with federal agencies such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Caribbean District Office of the U.S. Geological Survey.
WRRI collaborates on projects with other units of the University including the Division of Science and Mathematics, the Agricultural Experiment Station, the Eastern Caribbean Center and the Cooperative Extension Service.
As part of its information dissemination and outreach effort WRRI holds conferences and seminars, conducts workshops and gives lectures and tours. Research findings are disseminated through a Technical Report Series and a periodic newsletter.