The urban water sector faces a suite of unique challenges that will only become more complicated with population growth, climate change and environmental and water quality concerns. Successful management of these urban water issues at a variety of scales requires a holistic understanding of infrastructure, green space, water quality, allocation, financing, pricing and tradeoffs. However, efficient water management in this sector is particularly limited by a lack of data and the rigidity of legacy institutional systems and governance structure. This lack of information and flexibility exacerbates existing water shortages, aging infrastructure and antiquated financial and management schemes. To fill these gaps, the Urban Water Policy and Innovation team conducts innovative research on big data, virtual and hard infrastructure, financing and management in the urban water sector and its interface with other sectors such as agriculture, industrial, energy and land-use sectors. The team works on novel solutions to enable the water sector’s shift into the 21st century. They develop modern governance, policy, finance, water pricing and market driven tools in an effort to improve the quality of information available to decision-makers working on water management at the local and regional scales.
January 24, 2018
New research proposes a regional and collective management approach to water resources based on realities of supply and demand.
In the Media
May 08, 2018
Newsha Ajami and Kim Quesnel's research on lessons learned from the energy sector is highlighted in the discussion about California creating a charge on utility bills to create a safe water fund.
April 02, 2018
Newsha Ajami discusses the role of media coverage in water conservation in California in the context of the state's drought rebound.