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Oct. 5 brown bag: UC Water Initiative

How much fresh water is available across California, and how is it being used? In a multiyear drought, one would expect these questions to be central to the public interest, and that answers would be readily available. Unfortunately, these questions are deceptively simple and largely unanswered. Information at the scales and accuracy relevant to equitable and efficient water-management decision making are critical both scientifically and for managing this precious resource for California’s future. The UC Water Security and Sustainability Research Initiative (UC Water), a new UCOP-funded, multicampus effort, seeks to build UC’s capacity to address California water issues in cross-cutting, integrative ways. One of the distinguishing features of UC Water is its goal to integrate across scholarly work and policy impact, bringing together multiple modes of scholarship with the goal of joining traditional research with on-the-ground impact.

Holly Doremus

Holly Doremus

Learn more about UC Water when Holly Doremus, James H. House and Hiram H. Hurd Professor of Environmental Regulation at Berkeley Law, and Michael Kiparsky, associate director of the Wheeler Institute for Water Law and Policy at Berkeley Law, speak at a Research Grants Program Office’s brown bag:

Date: Monday, Oct. 5
Time: 12 to 1 p.m.
Location: Kaiser 612

Doremus and Kiparsky will give an overview of UC Water’s vision, purpose and approach, and will describe some key research and engagement components, with a particular focus on Berkeley Law’s role in the project. They will detail two topics of particular current interest: the role of data and information in improving water decision making, with a focus on allocation of water rights during times of shortage, and governance of groundwater under California’s new Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. They will address the overarching theme of policy relevance, ways in which Berkeley Law’s contributions constitute an important extension of traditional scholarship and how we are striving to bridge disciplinary and topical boundaries in our work.

About the speakers

Michael Kiparsky

Michael Kiparsky

Doremus received her J.D. and Environmental Law Certificate from Berkeley Law, where she was an articles editor for the Ecology Law Quarterly and a member of the Order of the Coif honor society. She then clerked for Judge Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, practiced municipal and land use law with the firm of Eickelberg & Fewel in Corvallis, Ore., and taught at the University of Oregon and Oregon State University before beginning her law teaching career at UC Davis in 1995. She is a member-scholar of the Center for Progressive Reform and an elected member of the American Law Institute. She was honored as a UC Davis Chancellor’s Fellow for 2001–06.

Kiparsky is associate director of the Wheeler Institute for Water Law and Policy at Berkeley Law. He has worked on both technical and policy aspects of water resources management, and his overarching professional interest lies at the intersection between the two. As a researcher, he has published on governance and policy of complex water systems, as well as on risk analysis, impacts of climate change on hydrology and adaptation to climate change. As a practitioner, he has experience in consulting (Tully & Young Comprehensive Water Planning), non-profit (Pacific Institute) and agency (CALFED Science Program) settings. Before returning to UC Berkeley, Kiparsky was on the faculty at the University of Idaho. He earned a Ph.D. and M.S. at U.C. Berkeley’s Energy and Resources Group, an interdisciplinary graduate program, and holds an A.B. in biology from Brown University. He has won awards for his work from sources including the National Science Foundation, the Association of California Water Agencies, the CALFED Bay Delta Science Program and the Udall Foundation.


Comments ( 3 )

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  1. Charlotte Strem September 22, 2015 Reply

    Significant water conservation efforts are also underway at UC campuses under the UC Policy on Sustainable Practices, and the systemwide Water Working Group.

  2. Gemma Rieser October 2, 2015 Reply

    Is the ability to call in to hear this brown bag?

  3. Laura Packel October 5, 2015 Reply

    We are setting up a conference line for those who would like to call in. We are hoping to have the slides available as well through ReadyTalk. Here’s the info:

    Conference Line: 866-740-1260
    Access Code: 3237253
    Webinar Link:

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