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Professor to Serve with New Water Policy Center

April 2, 2015

UC Merced Professor Joshua Viers has been named a member of the new Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) Water Policy Center, established to help meet the state's urgent need for timely information and innovative water management solutions.

Viers is an expert in water resources management with UC Merced’s School of Engineering, conducting research on issues related to the intersection of climate, water, energy, food and the environment using geospatial technologies and data mining. He is also the director of the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) at UC Merced.

His role with the new center will be to help generate new ideas in solving California’s water challenges.

“With the continued drought, it is imperative that we bring together the best ideas in a nonpartisan forum to develop the best solution for meeting California’s water supply needs in cities, farms and the environment,” Viers said. “The new PPIC Water Policy Center will do just that.”

Viers’ selection to this esteemed group of water experts is a testament to UC Merced’s growing role in the region and state, he said.

UC Merced was recently named the home of the University of California’s new Water Security and Sustainability Research Initiative, which Viers oversees along with Professor Roger Bales, director of the Sierra Nevada Research Institute.

The PPIC Water Policy Center will focus on three critical, interrelated water management challenges facing California:

  • ensuring clean and reliable water supplies;
  • building healthy and resilient ecosystems; and
  • preparing for droughts and floods

In conjunction with the center’s launch, PPIC released California's Water, a set of nine short policy briefs on the state's most critical water management challenges and the actions needed to address them. This report is designed to inform state leaders and raise awareness more broadly about the important water management issues facing the state.