Water Resouces Management

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Managing and allocating water to satisfy competing, ever-growing and increasingly diverse water uses calls for a fundamental understanding not only of the physical, chemical, and biological constraints on surface and subsurface water, but also of the socio-economic forces at work. The issues extend beyond economic costs and benefits to questions of environmental degradation and risk, the implications of successive and conjunctive uses of water, and conflict resolution strategies. Water resources managers must be knowledgeable in the economics, politics, sociology, and law of water management as well as in the traditional water resources fundamentals of hydraulics, hydrology, water quality, numerical methods, probability, and environmental engineering.

The water resource management curriculum at UC Davis reflects this interdisciplinary need by incorporating a mix of quantitative and qualitative approaches to defining analyzing, and resolving water resource problems, with a particular emphasis on quantitative management, conflict resolution strategies and risk assessment.

Other research in water resources management centers on developing methodologies for resolving hydrologic and hydraulic uncertainties. In groundwater management, for example, research is underway at UC Davis to develop techniques and methodologies for better understanding the groundwater environment, for developing strategies to prevent degradation of groundwater quality, for cleaning up contaminated aquifers, and for designing groundwater monitoring networks.

Watershed modeling also has a principal role in water resource management and development, making it possible to integrate considerations of climate, hydrology, ecology, vegetation, water quality, water allocation, and stream system maintenance. As evidence of global climate change mounts, such regional assessments of water quality and allocation will increase in importance.

Faculty: Dahlke, H.; Lubell, M.N.; Lund, J.R.; Pasternack, G.B.; Sandoval, S..