California Joint Water Centers

Joint Science and Technical Centers for California’s Water Problems 

Developing credible science for California’s water problems is a persistent challenge.  The state’s water problems increasingly overlap water agency jurisdictions, and require the development and integration of expertise and science that resides across and outside of state agencies.  Current fragmentation of agency expertise and science efforts slows development of common understanding, hinders productive policy and management discussions, retards agency staff development, and increases friction among agencies and interests on scientific and technical issues.  

A set of joint multi-agency science and technical centers focusing on major problem areas could better advance scientific information for California’s water problems.  Each center would involve relevant state agencies and agency staffs, as well as scientific and technical experts from universities, local and federal governments, NGOs, and consulting firms to develop coherent, transparent, and more broadly accepted products to provide a common scientific basis for policy and management in each problem area.  Here is a rough template for such joint science and technical centers. 

Promising Problem Areas for Joint Science and Technical Centers: 

  • Groundwater 
  • Aquatic ecosystem flows and restoration 
  • Rural drinking water 
  • Delta modeling 
  • Water accounting and data 
  • Water demand modeling (agricultural and urban) 
  • Regional system modeling 
  • Delta HUB (Delta Conservancy idea) 
  • Adaptive management support (for Delta)