Water resources research is being conducted in various research centers and groups around campus and in the larger Berkeley community. These research groups are collaborative efforts that cut across disciplines to conduct research and provide forums for researchers to come together and support their water-related research interests.

Berkeley Water Center

The Berkeley Water Center takes a comprehensive approach to water resources research and management that reflects the conditions of the 21st Century: variable and uncertain supply, increasing demand and inadequate structural and institutional infrastructure. We seek to develop and demonstrate the application of new concepts, information and engineering technology and computational tools that serve diverse water interests.

The BWC is comprised of researchers from several UC Berkeley Colleges and Departments, including more than 70 faculty members with water-related expertise. Our interdisciplinary approach makes the Center the single integrated resource for water-related research on campus.

Executive Director: Carolyn Remick
Email: remick[at]
410 O’Brien Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-1718
phone: 510.642.5322
fax: 510.642.5319

Keck Hydrowatch Center

Administered by the Berkeley Institute of the Environment, the Keck HydroWatch Center will dramatically expand the observations of all aspects of the water cycle by developing cost-effective, rapid-response, and accurate sensors and techniques to monitor water quality, quantity, and pathways. The center is initiating a prototype deployment of intensive environmental monitoring networks, resulting in the acquisition, synthesis, and analysis of new, large volumes of data. The first deployments will take place at two small (~10-102 km2), hydrologically different sites within the UC Natural Reserve System: the Angelo Coast Range Reserve and the Sagehen Creek Field Station.

Contact: University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley Institute of the Environment
Mulford Hall, MC 1250
Berkeley, CA 94720-1250
E-mail: info[at]

The Berkeley Water Working Group

All real-life water related problems are multi-dimensional in nature at once economic, political, institutional, technological and hydrological and can be resolved only through multi-dimensional dialogue. To foster this much needed dialogue, the Berkeley Water Working Group (WWG) brings together graduate students and faculty members from such diverse departments as Law, Agricultural and Resource Economics, Energy and Resources Group, Civil Engineering, ESPM, College of Environmental Design and Sociology. Researchers working in related areas such as climate change, risk analysis, or national security could also participate.

The WWG is sponsored by Berkeley’s Institute of International Studies, and co-sponsored by the Center for Sustainable Resource Development. It meets once a month to discuss a particular water problem, and at least two approaches to its resolution. These approaches could be regional comparisons or methodological comparisons. Each session features two speakers followed by questions and discussion, for a total of (up to) two hours.

Contact: isharay[at]

The Environmental Fluid Mechanics Group

The Environmental Fluid Mechanics group at UC Berkeley uses numerical, observational, and theoretical tools to study the movement of water and air in the natural environment. Research interests include the coastal ocean and estuaries, the atmospheric boundary layer, sediment transport, land-atmosphere interactions, numerical methods, turbulence, effects of density stratification, contaminant transport, groundwater flow, biological fluid mechanics, and the intersections of these and other topics. Within each of these research areas, fundamental processes of fluid flows are investigated.

Contact: jasonsimon{at]
Address: 202 or 205 O’Brien Hall
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720

Berkeley Water Group IdeaLab

The Berkeley Water Group IdeaLab (BWG) was formed with the goal of providing a forum in which Berkeley students from different departments can meet, collaborate and discuss the interdisciplinary topics of water, sanitation and hygiene. We currently meet every other week in the downstairs of the Blum Center. Most participants are actively engaged in projects and research implemented in or aimed at less developed countries, although the group is open to engaging problems found in developed countries as well.

The group consists of a range of both undergraduate and graduate students hailing from many different departments, including MCB, Public Health, the Energy and Resources Group, Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering and Systems Engineering, among others.

Participants work with Blum projects such as Haath Mein Sehat, the Shuar Health Project and do research in China, India, Mexico and California as well as many other places. The group meets twice a month to network and collaborate on our respective projects. The chance to meet and exchange ideas with students from other disciplines who all share a focus on water and sanitation has been very fruitful for all participants’ work and research.

The Berkeley Water Group also serves as a hub through which participants can alert each other to talks, events and conferences addressing our shared interests. For example, the BWG was responsible for connecting two students to summer internship positions with projects for the summer in India and Mexico, as well as for connecting graduate students looking for relevant, applicable topics for thesis projects that are now working in partnership with the student projects and other campus researchers.

In a survey conducted of current members produced the following results regarding participants’ top priorities:

• Stay updated on the student projects and other students’ research
• Meet other students with similar research interests
• Learn about and discuss topics and latest research relating to water and sanitation
• Find project ideas or research topics
• Get feedback on research or projects

This group is unique within the UC Berkeley community in that it provides a student-centered organization that meets regularly and includes a broad range of interest areas and project types– from multiyear to individual projects – working on or interested in learning about water, sanitation, and hygiene projects. Also, the BWG provides a forum to talk with and learn from each other about interdisciplinary topics related to water and sanitation. For example, the group often references relevant national news issues for group discussion topics. Additionally, there are many centers on campus that have water-related events or talks (the Water Resources Archive, Berkeley Institute of the Environment, Environmental Engineering), and the BWG functions very efficiently as a forum for increasing awareness and therefore attendance to such events across a range of disciplines.

Main Contacts: berkeleywatergroupidealab [at] gmail [dot] com