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.
October 25, 2017
With a new web-scraping and search algorithm and real water utility data, Stanford researchers have shown a relationship between media coverage of the recent historic California drought and household water savings.
September 15, 2017
A new web portal puts four years of California drought data into an interactive format, showing where regions met or missed water conservation goals. The idea is to motivate awareness and conservation.
March 4, 2015
Water in the West convened three experts to discuss the causes, policy implications and possible responses to California’s ongoing drought, including what a fourth year of drought will mean for the state.
In the Media
November 17, 2017
Media coverage focusing on the research of Kimberly Quesnel and Newsha Ajami did on the impact of the media on water conservation during California droughts.
November 13, 2017
Newsha Ajami comments on residential water use in California and the west.