Supporting Water Research in California
The California Institute for Water Resources supports academic researchers in California through funding of the Water Resources Research Act. Our grant programs fund projects at University of California campuses, and California State University campuses, and UC Cooperative Extension offices.
WRRA 104(b) Program
Through WRRA's 104(b) program, CIWR supports early-career researchers in California for 2-year projects up to $25,000.
For the 2023-2025 grant cycle, CIWR's currently funded 104(b) projects include:
- Jackie Atim of UCCE Kearney will develop production functions for available commercial forage sorghum in the San Joaquin Valley.
- Nall Moonilall of UC Davis will assess how regenerative management practices affect water distribution and soil properties in California's agricultural systems.
- Erin Bray of San Francisco State University will utilize a river energy balance model to predict water flow and temperature for a case study region of the San Joaquin River.
- Kristin Dobbin of UC Berkeley/UC ANR will study consolidation as a policy solution for ailing drinking water systems to understand what types of water system consolidations should be promoted and how.
- Sarah Light of UCCE Sutter-Yuba will study optimum timing of winter cover crop termination to conserve moisture in the top of soil profile that promotes future crop establishment.
- Abdelmoneim (Moneim) Mohamed of UCCE Modesto will develop a user-friendly, stem water potential model based on evapotranspiration and soil types, which supports improved deficit irrigation scheduling.
- Chris Olivares Martinez of UC Irvine will study correlations in groundwater contamination and climate change.
- Jorge Pesantez of CSU Fresno will study using agent-based games to shift peak demand in water distribution systems.
- Danielle Zoe Rivera of UC Berkeley will identify policy barriers and develop outreach materials to increase flood risk resilience in communities.
Through the 104(b) program, CIWR has funded water-related research projects by early career academic in California since 2011. You can view the list of recently completed projects from the 2021-2023 funding cycle. We also maintain a database of past funded projects, which is available to explore.
WRRA 104(g) Program
Through its role within the National Institutes for Water Resources, CIWR administers projects funded by WRRA's 104(g) program in California. Current funded projects focus on topics of water resources management and PFAS.
- HEC-RAS 2D Graphics Processor Unit (GPU) Solver, John Owens, Child Family Professor of Engineering and Entrepreneurship Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, UC Davis
- Fate, Transport, and Transformation of Poly- and Perfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in Horizontal Levees. David Sedlak, Plato Malozemoff Professor, Director of the Berkeley Water Center, UC Berkeley
UC ANR Small Grants
In Spring 2023, UC ANR published a request for small grants with the goal of increasing collaboration between cooperative extension researchers and UC ANR's statewide programs. CIWR supported three funded projects that address 21st Century water management and resilience challenges.
Understanding the Role of County Local Agency Formation Commissions (LAFCos) in Advancing Water System Consolidation as a Safe Drinking Water Solutions. Kristin Dobbin, Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist, UC Berkeley
Kristin is documenting and comparing county LAFCo policies relevant to consolidation in order to provide recommendations and example policies that could support more efficient implementation.
Water Conservation and Urban Vegetation Management in California. Joanna Solins, Environmental Horticulture Advisor, UCCE Capital Corridor Region
Joanna is estimating statewide water use for urban trees and evaluating the effects of landscape transformation options to understand climate adaptation needs in California's cities.
Estimating the Economic Feasibility of Agave A Drought Tolerant Dry- Farming Crop. Sam Sandoval Solis, Professor and Cooperative Extension Specialist, UC Davis
Sam and team are writing a guidelines manual that describes agronomic practices for the selection, establishment, plantation, and production of Agave in California
Prior to 2008, the California Water Resources Research Center funded several decades of research across themes that included:
- Hydrology and climate
- Aquatic ecosystems
- Water quality
- Water management
- Water law, institutions, and policy
- Salinity and drainage
CIWR maintains an archive of these funded research projects.