Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Urban Water Management Workshop stresses more collaboration and innovation


Academics and water agency officials gathered at UC Riverside on June 4 to discuss California's water crisis

Where sustainability of water management is concerned, we must pay more attention to long-term solutions. Efficient water management and policy ought to be promoted at the local level. And a "portfolio approach" to water management is encouraged, one that includes information campaigns, different types of pricing, supply and reuse options, and technology-based rebate programs.

These are some of the key messages that emerged from the first Urban Water Management Workshop that took place earlier this month at the University of California, Riverside.

Sponsored by the university's Water Science and Policy Center (WSPC) and the School of Public Policy, the workshop brought together academics from a number of research institutions and water agency officials. Nearly 60 people participated in the workshop.

Presentations by the speakers at the workshop can be accessed here.

"This workshop exemplifies our mission at the School of Public Policy of working with the community, policy makers, and public agencies to come up with innovative, evidence-based solutions to the big policy challenges facing our region," said Anil Deolalikar, the dean of the School of Public Policy and a professor of economics. "We at the School of Public Policy and the Water Science Policy Center trust that this workshop has increased our understanding of how to better manage and conserve our scarce water resources in the face of a looming drought."

Riverside is the hub of the Southern California metropolitan water district system, several participants noted at the workshop. The WSPC at UC Riverside is therefore strategically located to help inform local, regional and state policy makers of the efficient ways to manage water and the potential consequences of actions the agencies take.

"What this workshop demonstrated is that there is a need for such workshops to facilitate communication and exchange of ideas," said Ariel Dinar, the director of the WSPC and a professor of environmental economics and policy. "This is a very interesting time to do research on water problems—especially for anyone in California. The agenda is huge and exciting, so much so that I wish I were 20 years younger!"

The one-day workshop stressed the need for data collection for good policy analysis. The WSPC aims to be the hub of data collection for pricing and other policy interventions for water conservation in Southern California.

"We are fortunate to have a lot of local interactions with some wonderful and forward-thinking general managers and efficiency managers in the region, and with their help we can provide valuable service," said Kurt Schwabe, an associate professor of environmental economics and policy. "We certainly want a better understanding of the real-world issues with which the agencies are confronted. There is a disconnect sometimes between what the agencies want and the types of research that academics typically do. To help the agencies, through workshops like the one we just had, we have to reach out and talk to them, figure out what constraints and issues they are confronting."

The workshop underscored the message that most of the effort to balance water supply and demand has to be at the local level, and will involve both additional water conservation as well as greater use of local ground water supplies and recycled water. Also stressed was the need to treat water storage as surface plus ground water supplies, not just surface supplies.

"Our research shows that tiered-pricing works very well to help conserve water," said Ken Baerenklau, an associate professor of environmental economics and policy. "We hope that water agencies will continue to pursue innovative conservation policies as well as efforts to better understand their effects. And we hope customers will keep in mind that people before us made sound investments that today help provide us with safe and reliable water. We need to do our part and continue this practice."

According to Dinar, education is fundamental to water conservation.

"Education and training should begin at the kindergarten level," he said. "Such an investment can reap huge rewards for society later."

One of the goals of the workshop was to strengthen relationships between the WSPC and Southern California water districts.

"We want to provide district managers with information that we think is relevant to them," Baerenklau said. "But we also want to hear what they have to say. The workshop helped us better understand what they are looking out for in the future, what challenges they overcame recently, and what problems keep them up at night. Workshops like this serve to improve communication and foster more collaborative work, benefiting everyone."


Dinar, Schwabe and Baerenklau are available for media interviews on urban water management. They can expand on what the workshop delivered and discuss plans at the WSPC aimed at addressing California's drought and water crisis:

Ariel Dinar specializes in water and environmental economics, water policy, climate change, and regional cooperation. He can be reached at (951) 827-4526 and

Kurt Schwabe specializes in water economics, salinity and drainage management and policy, and alternative policy instruments. He can be reached at (951) 827-2361 and

Ken Baerenklau specializes in conservation technology adoption, water resource economics, and land use and habitat conservation. He can be reached at (951) 827-2628 and

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion. A broadcast studio with fiber cable to the AT&T Hollywood hub is available for live or taped interviews. UCR also has ISDN for radio interviews. To learn more, call (951) UCR-NEWS.

Iqbal Pittalwala | Eurek Alert!

Further reports about: Riverside UCR Water agencies stresses water conservation water management

More articles from Seminars Workshops:

nachricht Climate Fluctuations & Non-equilibrium Statistical Mechanics: An Interdisciplinary Dialog
29.06.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Physik komplexer Systeme

nachricht Blood flow under magnetic magnifier
21.06.2017 | Fraunhofer MEVIS - Institut für Bildgestützte Medizin

All articles from Seminars Workshops >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Physicists made crystal lattice from polaritons

20.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

20.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Thawing permafrost produces more methane than expected

20.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>