Bales, director of the Sierra Nevada Research Institute, proposed an intercampus UC Water Security and Sustainability Research Initiative, amalgamating experts from across the UC system to build a strategic base of water knowledge to help California and the nation achieve a water-secure future.
A sustainable future also prompted Bales’ proposal. Unprecedented climate change, population growth and changing land cover are radically altering the water cycle, Bales said in his proposal, with dramatic impacts on human and environmental uses of water.
“As California grapples with a multi-year drought, the need for water security is clear,” he said. “Now is an ideal time for UC to establish this research initiative alongside California’s water leaders.”
The initiative blends UC’s technical advances in hydrology with parallel innovations in policy analysis and decision support to meet the state’s water-security challenges. Three primary concentrations will occupy the new initiative: relevant, real-time water data; a better understanding of land cover changes on source-water areas; and better tools and techniques for better groundwater management, including scientific and engineering developments and legal and policy research.