Professors’ Expertise Tapped for Policy Discussions at Drought Summit

Two UC Merced/CITRIS researchers are slated to take part in the UC Drought Science, Policy and Management Summit at the state Capitol on Friday, April 25.

School of Engineering professor Roger Bales, with the Sierra Nevada Research Institute, and Joshua Viers, director of the campus’s Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society, will take part in panel discussions during the daylong summit organized by UC Davis at the request of UC President Janet Napolitano.

The panel experts were chosen to showcase the best the UC has to offer when it comes to water and drought research. UC Merced, the Sierra Nevada Research Institute and CITRIS are making critical contributions to the larger effort throughout the state, from Bales’ hydrology research and advocacy for a unified statewide water information system, to Viers’ work in hydroinformatics.

Hydroinformatics is an emerging field of study that focuses on the intersection of science and policy as it relates to improving the underlying information about water – its collection, storage, synthesis and distribution.

“At present, we have primitive technologies and tools to account for surface and ground water supply, storage, distribution and end use. Further, we have antiquated and inflexible means of rationing this limited resource in times of crisis, such as now,” Viers said.

The primary audience at the summit will be legislative staff members, and Viers said he hopes they come away knowing more about the drought. He recently gave a talk at the CITRIS Research Exchange on “In Drought and Deluge”

From UC Merced Connect, April 22, 2014

UC Merced Connect is a collection of news items written by the University Communications staff. To contact them, email communications@ucmerced.edu.