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Research, Student Programs, and Grants at CIWR

CIWR is a hub of water resources management and policy research in California. The institute runs grant programs and supports California-based academics applying for federal water research funding. CIWR also collaborates with researchers within the cooperative extension and university campuses on research, education, and training.

Research Projects

CIWR's research focuses on using systems approaches to address water management challenges. We work with collaborators across California's universities and the University of California Cooperative Extension on research projects. Our expertise spans:

  • Water policy and planning
  • Water resource systems analysis
  • Urban water management
  • Agricultural water management
  • Research communications
  • Disaster management
  • Landscape management

Our current and recent research initiatives especially focus on applied work that bridges gaps in research and practice.

CIWR's core team includes academic staff based in UC campuses, UC cooperative extension offices, and within UC ANR's statewide programs.

Student Programs

In 2023, CIWR started a student employee program for California-based students, who conduct water policy and management research projects. We accept applications to support student research experiences within CIWR, which match student interests with project needs.

Research Grants for California Academics

The Federal Water Resources Research Act Program, authorized by section 104 of the Water Resources Research Act of 1984, is a Federal-State partnership to support research on water problems and provide training for U.S. scientists and engineers. Federal agencies collaborate with members of the National Institutes for Water Resources to fund and promote water research and training in the U.S. The California Institute for Water Resources is the designated water resources research institute for the State of California. Our list of current and completed projects funded through WRRA grants is available.

104(b) Early Career Research Grants

The California Institute for Water Resources runs a grant program for early-career researchers in California under section 104(b) of the Water Resources Research Act. The program goals are to support water research by junior investigators in California, especially for multidisciplinary projects that can demonstrate impact and address needs of underserved communities. Researchers can apply for up to $25,000 to support 2-year research projects.

CIWR solicits early-career research grant every two years. The most recent RFP closed in February 2023.

104(g) National Grant Program

The WRRA 104(g) National Competitive Grants Program provides funding for up to 3-year research projects on water  issues of regional or national concern. Any investigator at an institution of higher learning in the United States is eligible to apply for a grant through a Water Research Institute or Center that is a member of the National Institutes for Water Resources.

The most recent RFP closed in April 2023 and focused on three topic areas: PFAS, aquatic invasive species, and general proposals.