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.
June 06, 2019
A new study analyzes patterns of urban irrigation and vegetation health during extreme drought. Its findings could inform urban water conservation and water infrastructure development under climate pressures.
May 10, 2019
California struggles to deliver safe drinking water to millions of residents. The challenges – often complex issues at the interface of human, legislative, technical, and geological dimensions – resist easy...
In the Media
May 09, 2019
Richard Luthy is quoted in an article discussing how green infrastructure can affect water management.
February 22, 2019
The Source - International Water Association
An op-ed by Newsha Ajami explaining how a cap-and-trade system could work in the water sector.