The UC Water Security and Sustainability Research Initiative is a partnership of faculty and researchers from several campuses of the University of California.

The inter-related aspects to the UC Water organization are how we organize our thinking, and how we organize our work. Mutually supporting research on Infrastructure, Institutions, and Information feed into Innovation and Integration in support of water security.

Our basic understanding of water in California lags behind that of other natural resources. Knowledge gaps exist in all three building blocks of water security; and these three elements underpin UC Water's research themes.

We seek partners from research institutions, government agencies, NGO organizations, foundations and industry who can work with us and support us in addressing the important and dynamic research encompassing the reliability and resiliency of water in California.

For more information, please contact Professor Roger Bales at


Infrastructure, Insitutions, and Information

We define water security as the reliable availability of an acceptable quantity and quality of water for health, livelihoods, ecosystems and production, coupled with an acceptable level of water-related risks.

Sustaining water security in the face of interrelated changes in population, climate and land cover requires investments in three tightly-linked areas:

  • Infrastructure includes surface reservoirs, groundwater aquifers and natural infrastructure such as snowpack and soil-water storage.
  • Institutions can be broadly defined as the rules, norms, and conventions that influence decisions in society. This includes organizations and agencies, but also legal, social, cultural and other influences on decisions.
  • Information is the third and foundational investment needed to better guide water related decision making and improving water-supply reliability. 
  • Integration and innovation, including that enabled by our efforts and other institutions, can deliver multiple economic, environmental, and social benefits across watershed and jurisdictional boundaries.