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Climate change is having a profound impact on natural resources, most urgently on water supply and demand. The impact of global change on water availability can only be understood in a regional context: topography, coastal and mountain proximity, land cover, prevailing storm tracks, and other factors all make regional water climate distinctive. In particular, climate change will dramatically affect the water availability in urban communities. As communities grow and expand their populations and economies in the 21st century, climate change, energy demands and greenhouse gas emissions must be considered when developing infrastructure systems. Given the long-term lifespan of water-infrastructure systems, urban communities must begin to include climate-change effects into water resource planning decisions. Understanding how communities can manage water resources in the face of economic growth and climate change is a priority challenge.

Drawing on climate research at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and UCSD faculty experts in hydrology, engineering, information technology, ecology (marine and terrestrial), sociology, physics, urban studies, economics, and management, SSI has supported research projects and collaborations with the City of San Diego, County Water Authority, California state agencies, USGS, Cambridge University, and the Association of Pacific Rim Universities, and others. Initially SSI is focusing on the impacts of climate change on water resources (both supply and demand), and the institutional, technological, and social responses to these changes.

Funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the University of California San Diego and the University of Cambridge have developed a partnership relating to the science, technology, and policy of environment and sustainability.  The partnership’s first project, the Cambridge-UC San Diego Global Water Initiative, is intended to help promote adaptation to the impacts of climate change on water availability.

For more information, please contact:

Kim McIntyre
SSI Project Manager
E: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
P: (858) 822-1483

Kristin Blackler
SSI Project Manager
E: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
P: (858) 534-8372

UCSD links

Water Conservation at UC San Diego  
Energy Conservation: What Facilities Management is Doing
Energy Management