Introducing PPIC’s Water Policy Center (video)

California is at a crossroads in managing its water resources. The current drought has sparked significant policy activity, but much work lies ahead. With significant changes expected in the state’s population, economy, and climate – and pressures from aging infrastructure and a deteriorating environment – California needs to develop meaningful, lasting, forward-looking water policies.

With support from the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, the PPIC Water Policy Center was created to build on the successful model of strategic research and engagement that defines all of PPIC’s work. It connects nonpartisan, objective research to real world water management debates, with the goal of putting California water policy on a sustainable and constructive path. The Center spurs innovative water management solutions that support a healthy economy, environment, and society—now and for future generations.

The center is directed by PPIC senior fellow Ellen Hanak and includes in-house experts as well as a broad research network – a dynamic group of top researchers with expertise in a range of disciplines, including biology, economics, engineering, geology, and law. The Center  sits within  the Public Policy Institute of California, the mission of which is inform and improve public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research.

The PPIC Water Policy Center will strengthen the bridge between objective, rigorous research and real-world policy debates with the goal of putting water management on a sustainable path. It will focus on three critical, interrelated water management challenges facing California in the 21st century:

  • Ensuring clean and reliable water supplies. Investigating and encouraging comprehensive, integrated approaches to water quality and quantity.
  • Building healthy and resilient ecosystems. Promoting the development of healthy and sustainable ecosystems using practical approaches to watershed management.
  • Preparing for droughts and floods. Helping California adapt to an increasingly variable climate.

By bridging the gap between rigorous scientific understanding and complex policy problems, the Center offers timely, credible, and actionable information on the state’s water policy challenges.

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