Water Resources Leadership Stories

Like time and money, water in the West is often characterized by too much demand chasing too little supply. In response to such scarcity, water conservation seems the obvious, environmentally-friendly strategy to achieve the same outcome-a green lawn, food and fiber, or a hot shower-while using less water. Give water users the means to use less, and with any luck, they actually will. But such freedom can also inadvertently lead to more water use, whether that's via lush landscaping, more crops on marginal lands, or longer showers. How do we balance supply with demand to solve this problem?Read more >
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) won a prestigious national award March 5 for its influential role in the nation’s fight against climate change, receiving recognition for the Department’s outreach on climate resilience and for taking a comprehensive approach that aligns state and local water...Read more >
Fellow Bridie McGreavy is working with a diverse team to understand how news media coverage can shape the public understanding about important science issues. In particular, their research asks questions about how news articles represented the Penobscot River Restoration Project in Maine and the role of Penobscot Nation in the dam removal decision-making process.Read more >
How can we how can we learn from communities to understand risk and support resilience planning? Kristen Goodrich brings a social ecological approach to characterizing natural hazards when developing flood modeling by studying the human experience with and response to flooding. Before starting her...Read more >
Is it possible to identify and stop a climate change disaster before it happens? Kimberley Rain Miner, a National Science Foundation Fellow and Department of Defense SMART Scholar, believes it might be with the proper predictions and preparations in a broad range of scenarios. With her dissertation...Read more >
Dipti Vaghela is passionate about micro hydro. Vaghela’s organization, the Hydropower Empowerment Network, takes a country-by-country approach to rural electrification, helping micro hydro and other technologies take root in places where electricity is expensive and hard – or even impossible – to come by. Her goal? To bring electricity in a sustainable and participatory way to places that need it.Read more >
Despite rising temperatures, Californians this summer cut their water use significantly in an effort to help the state deal with a severe, ongoing drought. The reduction for two straight months — by more than 31 percent in July alone –caught many officials by surprise, but not Mike Antos, director of California State University, Northridge’s new Center for Urban Water Resilience.Read more >
We have a number of Fellows leading in Sonoma County, working to understand the impacts of climate change at a micro level and develop solutions to improve local resiliency to climate change impacts that could be rolled out nationally.Read more >
Doug Johnson sees the increasingly severe drought in California as a chance to educate people about the importance of invasive plant management at the landscape level in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The Sierras are an important source of water for all of California, with snowpack formed in winter melting over the spring and summer months and running down to the dry parts of the state. Invasives, some of which are known to be water hungry compared to competing vegetation, can reduce the capacity of Sierra meadows to perform this valuable function. For the state’s residents and agricultural industry, this could make a bad problem worse.Read more >
It is easy to overlook the pipes and boxes carrying water under our roads, but these parts of our transportation infrastructure can have huge impacts on freshwater health and road safety. 2003 Fellow Jessica Levine is working in the northeastern United States to replace and upgrade road crossings to benefit aquatic species and habitat along with other community goals.Read more >

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