David Feldman is the Director of the Water UCI Initiative.

Dr. David Feldman is the Director of the Water UCI Initiative and a professor in the School of Social Ecology.

Water UCI

Director: Dr. David Feldman
Initiative Funding Period: June 2014 – June 2017
Website: http://water.uci.edu/

The Problem: The world’s freshwater supply faces a number of challenges, including population growth, climate variation, and industrial expansion. Responding to these challenges requires collaborative, innovative research that identifies the human role in water scarcity, addresses the connection between water and energy use, and develops systems for water management and distribution.

The Water UCI initiative gave faculty, students, and researchers an opportunity to collaborate across disciplines and connect to the larger community. Participants melded the natural and physical sciences, engineering, and social and policy science to respond to specific issues like drought and water management, both in Southern California and on a larger scale.

Future Plans

Members of the initiative plan to create a permanent center in the School of Social Ecology. The center will become an interdisciplinary effort dedicated to providing solutions to water production, conservation, and management problems. Drawing on local partnerships and knowledge gleaned through studying Southern California’s water crisis, the center will work to foster environmental justice and community engagement on a wider scale.

Center participants will continue to participate in the Israeli research collaboration, educate adolescents through the Middle School Water Conservation Challenge, develop strategies for low-impact development, and foster community involvement.

Visit the Water UCI website

Initiative Accomplishments

The UCI Academic Initiative program seeks to unravel some of the world’s most challenging problems through cross-disciplinary collaboration.

Twelve faculty from across campus have helped guide the Water UCI Initiative. Below are some program highlights.

  • A new undergraduate minor in Water Resources is under development
  • Creation of a graduate course in water research field methods
  • Internship program with the Irvine Ranch Water District
  • An inter-UC conference in 2015 to address California’s current drought
  • Hosted an Water-Energy Nexus Workshop with water and electrical utility representatives — at the end of the workshop a report was sent to the Department of Energy 
  • Collaboration with Tel Aviv University exploring ways to capture and provide freshwater along California’s and Israel’s coastlines
  • Participation in the EU association Network for Water in European Regions and Cities (NetwercH2O)
  • Educated local middle-school students about the California drought and helped them develop conservation projects
  • Engagement with the larger community through a series of talks, a Water Saving Workshop, and an art exhibit and upcoming film series, among other activities
  • A PBS episode titled “Things Green,” developed from a Water UCI colloquium