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Water Resources Research

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. Recent projects by CIWR and collaborators include topics of:

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

Examples of current and past projects are listed below.

California Wastewater Needs Assessment


CIWR is part of a collaborative team that will develop a first-of-its-kind assessment of water-related sanitation needs in California. Led by UCLA's Luskin Center for Innovation, the project will collect information and develop criteria to create a statewide framework to prioritize funding for sanitation systems in California especially in disadvantaged, severely disadvantaged, and vulnerable communities.

Project Lead: Greg Pierce, UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation.
Project Team: UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation, Office of Water Programs at Sacramento State, CIWR @ UC ANR, University of Massachusetts Amherst
CIWR Project Team: Sam Sandoval Solis (ANR PI), Erik Porse, Rachel Shellabarger, Riley Currey.

Project Support: California State Water Resources Control Board

Artes: Urban Water Systems Analysis in Los Angeles


In California's Mediterranean climate, cities must develop infrastructure and programs to manage seasonal and annual changes in precipitation. While many urban areas in California built huge infrastructure systems to import distant sources of water, cities also rely on local sources of water such as groundwater and stormwater capture, and water reuse. These offer ways to increase the portion of demand met by local sources.

The model simulates flows through all of these systems across hundreds of agencies to evaluate when and how changes in expectations for imported water availability affect supply and operations throughout LA County.

Artes was developed at UCLA's California Center for Sustainable Communities as part of projects to understand future water management in Southern California. The model has used been in 11 peer-reviewed studies.

The data and code associated with Artes are publicly-available. From 2016-2022, data and code were published on Github. Starting in 2022, the model is available through Hydroshare.

Porse, E. (2022). Artes: Modeling Water Resources Management in Los Angeles, HydroShare, https://doi.org/10.4211/hs.c2a8bb7e07b3409995c90a86120b2a9f

Wildfire & Water Supply in California

In collaboration with UCLA's Luskin Center for Innovation, CIWR developed a research and policy agenda to support water quality improvements through better wildfire management.

To address the recent emergence of wildfire-caused drinking water contamination, the researched asked a group of interdisciplinary and cross-sector participants to provide input and review on a research and policy agenda for how California can more proactively address the ways in which wildfire is increasingly putting water supply systems at risk. Workshop sessions were focused on four different research and policy issues and related questions at the intersection of wildfire events and water supply provision. The report summarizes findings from the outreach and sessions.

Project Team: CIWR and UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation

Regression Modeling for Urban Water Demand in California


Resilience planning for water management in California requires advanced analysis and data integration. Water demand forecasting can help water planners understand future water needs and develop plans for infrastructure investments, capital improvements, and demand management programs. In cities, regression modeling is a popular method to understand future operations. We used statistical modeling to understand drivers of demand for over 400 urban water supply agencies in California. The modeling used standardized data from self-reported sources for agencies across the state. The demand models served as the basis of the first detailed study in literature of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on urban water demand in 2020. 

Porse, E. (2021). Urban Water Demand Regression Modeling for California Water Suppliers, HydroShare, https://doi.org/10.4211/hs.f70cefe684b746c6b37dd4ca056a6b34