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Posts Tagged: water

Water institute calls for research proposals

The California Institute for Water Resources invites submission of proposals to be considered for funding that will begin March 1, 2021.

This year, proposals are requested in the Junior Investigator category only. Funding is for up to two years. One-year proposals may request up to a total of $15,000, and two-year proposals may request up to $25,000 with a maximum of $15,000 in a given year.

Please note that the funding period may fluctuate and is contingent on state and federal budget appropriations. 

The 2020-21 water resources research proposals are due Oct. 30, 2020, at 5 p.m.

Download the full RFP and budget worksheets (Word or PDF).

Posted on Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 10:27 AM

$1 million grant expands climate-ready landscape plants program

Landscape plants under varying irrigation levels are evaluated at South Coast REC to determine the best irrigation level for optimal plant performance.

A research project initiated in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis evaluates landscape plants in two-year trials under varying irrigation levels to determine the best irrigation level for optimal plant performance in regions requiring supplemental summer water. Creating water budgets is required by California's Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance (MWELO), and the results from these research trials help landscape professionals and home gardeners make informed decisions when specifying, selecting or promoting low water-use landscape plant material.

This year, the CDFA/USDA Specialty Crops Multistate Program funded a new Climate Ready Landscape Plants project, which will replicate the successful fields that are currently installed at UC Davis and UC ANR South Coast Research and Extension Center in Irvine.

Loren Oki will oversee a new Climate Ready Landscape Plants project. Photo by Ann Filmer

Loren Oki, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences, is the lead principal investigator and collaborators include researcher Jared Sisneroz;  project leader Karrie Reid, UC Cooperative Extension environmental horticulture advisor in San Joaquin County; and Darren Haver, UC Cooperative Extension water resources and water quality advisor and director of South Coast REC and UCCE in Orange County.

Under Oki's oversight, this new $999,992 grant will support the development of additional fields at several western universities:

  • University of Washington, Soo-Hyung Kim
  • Oregon State University, Lloyd Nackley and Ryan Contreras
  • Utah State University Center, Youping Sun and Larry Rupp
  • University of Arizona, Ursula Schuch

Conducting these new experiments on landscape plants at diverse sites across the western U.S. will reveal differences in recommendations since irrigation guidelines for landscapes vary depending on climate and soil type.

The initial project was initiated as Reid's master's degree thesis research in 2004, with Oki as her major professor, and has been ongoing since then.

Project descriptions, results and images can be seen at the UC Landscape Plant Irrigation Trials website at https://ucanr.edu/sites/UCLPIT.

Posted on Tuesday, August 25, 2020 at 9:13 AM
  • Author: Ann Filmer

California Institute for Water Resources drafts new strategic plan

The California Institute for Water Resources recently completed a strategic plan. During 2018, the Institute went through a thorough strategic planning process with the help of appointed committee members from within and outside of UC ANR.

The committee was carefully selected to represent the diverse stakeholder interests of the institute. Through a variety of inputs during an assessment phase, which included several stakeholder surveys, committee members gathered information to help identify the strengths, opportunities and challenges of the organization to help formulate the plan. The final plan is a living document, which will be used as a flexible framework to develop annual priorities and evaluate progress.

The mission of the California Institute for Water Resources is to integrate California's research, extension and higher education programs to develop and communicate research-based solutions to water resource challenges. CIWR directly impacts California water issues through research and extension programs. The institute keeps its partners informed through its website, newsletter, blog and social media outlets and actively contributes, shapes and diversifies the conversation on California water issues. Meeting the objectives set forth in its strategic plan will increase the effectiveness of CIWR in helping California meet its future water challenges.

CIWR identified five strategic goals to focus on over the next five years:

  1. Foster and incubate research and extension focused on California's critical water challenges.
  2. Engage with and convene the water community to define and address California's water challenges.
  3. Enhance communication and engagement capacity and increase visibility.
  4. Strengthen the relationship between CIWR and UC ANR.
  5. Increase resources to better incubate research and engage the water community.

The complete plan is available at http://ucanr.edu/CIWRStrategicPlan or by visiting CIWR's website: http://ciwr.ucanr.edu.

Posted on Thursday, February 28, 2019 at 10:56 AM
  • Author: Jennifer Caron-Sale
Focus Area Tags: Natural Resources

Communication is key to action on California’s new water narrative

UC scientists, students and water agency professionals took a critical look inwards and a radical look outwards when they gathered in Sacramento in October to reimagine California water.

The event was the fourth annual gathering sponsored by UC ANR's California Institute for Water Resources and the University of California Water Security and Sustainability Research Initiative, UC Water.

While science is the hallmark of a research-oriented institution like UC, the participants were asked to recognize their important role not just as scientists but also communicators.

“We have a big role in educating the public,” said Roger Bales, engineering professor at UC Merced who has been active in water and climate research for more than 30 years. “Scientists are political actors. Facts do not speak for themselves.”

Felicia Marcus, chair of the California Water Resources Control Board and a conference panelist, asked the scientists to make their work accessible, and if they are uncomfortable with plain language, “write it both ways.”

“Complexity can lose people easily,” she said.

The conference keynote speaker, futurist Kim Stanley Robinson, also addressed the divide between scientific discourse and popular understanding, in particular when speaking about climate change.

“There is a strange disconnect between what the scientific community is telling the world and what the world is hearing. As a result of data analysis, science is announcing to the world there is climate change. Individuals cannot perceive climate change,” he said. “Show them in ways that can be understood by the senses. The story has to be told with pragmatism and common sense.”

California water travels from the high-mountain headwaters of the Sierra Nevada to the vast groundwater basins in the valleys below.

The Reimagining California Water Conference pursued the water journey from the high-mountain headwaters of the Sierra Nevada to the vast groundwater basins in the valleys below. Over the last century, the mountains were blanketed with snow each winter, storing water that melted slowly in the spring and summer to provide a reliable source of water for farming and communities below. However, climate change is telling a new tale. Warmer weather means less snow and more rain will fall on the mountains during the winter. The quick runoff must be managed in a way that preserves it for use in the summer.

“We need groundwater recharge because we're losing the snow pack quicker than we thought we would,” Bales said.

The new California water narrative has prompted scientists and policymakers to take a serious look at the potential for “flood-managed aquifer recharge” or Flood-MAR. Flood-MAR is a management strategy that uses water from rain or snowmelt to flood agricultural lands and working landscapes, such as refuges, floodplains and flood bypasses.

Successful implementation of Flood-MAR requires the identification of land for groundwater recharge, understanding the economic and agronomic impact of using agricultural land for recharge, and impacts of high-volume recharge on groundwater quality. But the potential is enormous.

“The state's underground basins are capable of storing 500 million acre-feet of water,” said Graham Fogg, UC Davis professor of hydrogeology. “That's like 500 Folsom reservoirs.”

Though the enormity of rewriting the California water story might seem an insurmountable challenge, panelist Debbie Franco noted that the passage of Sustainable Groundwater Management in 2014 happened when the state's unsustainable reliance of groundwater spiked during the 2011-2016 drought, reducing municipal water quality, drying domestic wells and causing land to sink.

“What seems impossible, after four years of drought, can be possible,” Franco said. “What will be the next thing? Get a sense of the solutions now.”

Posted on Wednesday, October 31, 2018 at 1:09 PM
Focus Area Tags: Natural Resources

Apply by Nov. 9 to be SI leader for Water or Healthy Families and Communities

ANR academics are invited to apply for Strategic Initiative leader positions, which play key roles in unifying, communicating and advocating to strengthen UC ANR's research and outreach agenda. Given the ongoing evolving role of the UC ANR Strategic Initiatives (SI), the SI leaders agreed that it would again be beneficial to conduct an open search – from across the breadth of expertise of the division – for the next rotation of SI leaders.

Open Positions. Two SI leader positions are scheduled to rotate off at the end of 2018. This change offers opportunities for others to take the lead for

Who is eligible to apply? The positions are open to all UC ANR academics, including Agricultural Experiment Station faculty and Cooperative Extension advisors and specialists. Strategic Initiative leaders are appointed by the Associate Vice President on a rotating basis for three years, with a possibility of extension.

Current SI leaders

The SIs help unify, communicate and advocate for what UC ANR does. See the UCANR Strategic Initiatives website for more information.

To apply for one of the SI leader positions, complete the simple form at http://ucanr.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=25782. Applications will be accepted until Nov. 9.

Applicants will be contacted for interviews in late November or early December. The new leaders are anticipated to start on Jan. 2, 2019.

For information regarding the roles and responsibilities of the Strategic Initiative leader position, see the Terms of Reference for Strategic Initiative Leaders. If you have questions, contact Mark Bell, vice provost of Strategic Initiatives and Statewide Programs.

Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2018 at 8:23 AM

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