California is at a crossroads in managing water. The drought has sparked significant policy activity, but much work lies ahead. With 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.
Today, we are pleased to announce the establishment of the PPIC Water Policy Center to help meet the state’s urgent need for timely information and innovative water management solutions. The center builds on the successful model of independent, nonpartisan research and constructive engagement that defines all of PPIC’s work.
Over the last decade, PPIC laid the groundwork for the center with high-quality research on major water policy issues and productive conversations about solutions. The center represents a significant ramping up of investment in this critical area, and we thank the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation for the seed funding to launch this effort.
The PPIC Water Policy Center 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.
The PPIC Water Policy Center staff will work closely with a broad, interdisciplinary network of top researchers from around the state—and with a wide range of policymakers and stakeholders—to strengthen the bridge between research and real-world policy debates.
In conjunction with the launch of the PPIC Water Policy Center, PPIC is releasing California’s Water, a set of nine short policy briefs on the state’s most critical water management challenges and the actions needed to address them. This briefing kit is designed to inform state leaders and to raise awareness more broadly about the important water management issues facing the state.