White House focuses on innovation at Water Summit

Leigh Bernacchi
March 22, 2016

UC Water’s water-accounting system included in commitments

As part of the United Nations World Water Day, the White House held a Water Summit to highlight the nation’s greatest water security challenges and solutions.

Water leaders advocated for coordinated water information, specifically regional-state-federal coordination on investments and legislation, and interagency data sharing with non-profit organizations and universities.

In January 2016, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy received 500 submissions. UC Water was selected with 150 organization, university and agency commitments to support the President’s Call to Action. The White House held the Water Summit to highlight as cross-section of the commitments, and the video has been archived online.

With groundwater as one of the most difficult scientific and management problems, UC Water contributed to the “Commitments to Action on Building a Sustainable Water Future.” 

"The University of California Water Security and Sustainability Research Initiative is committing to develop, by 2018, an integrated water-accounting system. The system will include a new basis for managing groundwater by using a novel combination of conventional groundwater-level data and modeling tools that will be disseminated to hundreds of water managers by 2017, including those in 127 California state-defined groundwater basins."

Professor Graham Fogg reinforced the importance of this work. “We are leveraging the hydrologic community’s well-demonstrated success in measuring and modeling groundwater systems to develop a simple way of translating real-time groundwater and surface water changes into sustainable groundwater management.”

UC Water’s focus on addressing science and technology needs as well as best governance practices for groundwater management directly ties into the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. The 127 groundwater basins affected by the act will be able to use what UC Water researchers have learned.

The Obama Administration’s efforts to advance water information and sustainable management is timely and critical. UC Water is thankful and honored for inclusion and for federal leadership.