Director: Dr. David Feldman
Initiative Funding Period: June 2014 – June 2017
The Problem: The world’s freshwater supply faces a number of challenges, including population growth, climate variation, and industrial expansion. Responding to these challenges requires collaborative, innovative research that identifies the human role in water scarcity, addresses the connection between water and energy use, and develops systems for water management and distribution.
The Water UCI initiative gave faculty, students, and researchers an opportunity to collaborate across disciplines and connect to the larger community. Participants melded the natural and physical sciences, engineering, and social and policy science to respond to specific issues like drought and water management, both in Southern California and on a larger scale.
Members of the initiative plan to create a permanent center in the School of Social Ecology. The center will become an interdisciplinary effort dedicated to providing solutions to water production, conservation, and management problems. Drawing on local partnerships and knowledge gleaned through studying Southern California’s water crisis, the center will work to foster environmental justice and community engagement on a wider scale.
Center participants will continue to participate in the Israeli research collaboration, educate adolescents through the Middle School Water Conservation Challenge, develop strategies for low-impact development, and foster community involvement.