Executive director of National Water Research Institute dies

NWRI reports that its executive director, Ronald B. Linsky died Sunday, Aug. 14, at the University of Southern California Norris Cancer Center. As its leader for 15 years, Linsky was responsible for creating a research institute based on the concept of a public-private partnership that has grown into the third largest institute in the United States...

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, CA, Aug. 16, 2005 (PRNewswire) -- The National Water Research Institute reported yesterday that its executive director, Ronald B. Linsky died Sunday, Aug. 14 at the University of Southern California Norris Cancer Center.

As NWRI's leader for 15 years, Linsky was responsible for creating a research institute based on the concept of a public-private partnership that has grown into the third largest institute in the United States.

He was nationally known and respected for his advocacy and belief in the value of water. Through his work at the institute, he promoted the importance of reliable water and sustainability for all. He encouraged his peers to view water as an asset and to provide services that are valued by the consumer.

"This is a tragic loss not only to the water community but to all those who knew and worked with Ron. He truly made a difference with his innovative ideas and boundless energy. His contribution to water research and reliability are immeasurable," stated Joan Irvine Smith.

The National Water Research Institute was founded in 1991 from the vision of Smith and her mother, Athalie Richardson Irvine Clarke to develop a research organization that would focus on creating new sources of water through research and technology and protecting the freshwater and marine environments.

The Joan Irvine Smith and Athalie R. Clarke Foundation has contributed over $15 million to NWRI, which has been ambitiously matched by partners such as federal and state governments, private industry, public utilities, and universities, to support over 160 projects in the past 14 years. These investments have supported specific projects focusing on exploratory research, treatment and monitoring, water quality assessment, and knowledge management. NWRI also develops partnerships internationally. Australia, Canada, The Sultanate of Oman, and The People's Republic of China are among its strategic global partners.

Linsky was also known for his cutting edge ideologies that encouraged technological advances to ensure the integration of water reuse, desalination, and conservation into long term strategies to enhance sustainability of water resources for future generations.

Prior to coming to NWRI, Linsky served as the chief technical advisor of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) office of technical cooperation for development and was assigned to and directed the Institute of Marine Affairs in Trinidad Tobago West Indies. His academic career included research directorships of two major U.S. universities: the University of Hawaii, where he served as director of the Sea Grant College program and associate dean of marine programs, and at USC as director of the Sea Grant Institutional program.

Linsky served as a consultant for the UNDP, U.S. State Department, U.S. Department of Commerce, and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and was invited by the Bureau of Foreign Experts, People's Republic of China, to consult with the Minister of Water Resources and other organizations on water resources development. He served as an environmental consultant to the governments of India, Thailand, Norway, Scotland, England, Ireland, Netherlands, Argentina, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Mexico, Oman, Bahrain, and United Arab Emirates.

He received both his bachelor's and master's degrees in biological sciences from USC.

NWRI is governed by a board of directors who represent the Inland Empire Utilities Agency, Irvine Ranch Water District, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Orange County Sanitation District, Orange County Water District, and West Basin Municipal Water District.

Linsky is survived by his wife, Patricia, and four children, Bryan, Todd, Maureen, and Christopher, and five grandchildren. Funeral arrangements are pending. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the USC Norris Cancer Center located at 1441 Eastlake Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90033.

Based in Fountain Valley, Calif., the National Water Research Institute (www.nwri-usa.org) was founded by a group of Southern California water agencies in partnership with the Joan Irvine Smith and Athalie R. Clarke Foundation to promote the protection, maintenance, and restoration of water supplies and to protect the freshwater and marine environments through the development of cooperative research work.

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