Water is fundamental to any society and economy. This is particularly true in drought-prone parts of the world including California, the most populous and food producing state in the U.S. Community water systems — the foundation of California’s water supply network — are responsible for providing customers with a reliable supply of clean water at an affordable price. But the systems differ widely in their capacities and performance, with disparities only increasing due to climate change. Research from the Luskin Center for Innovation (LCI) and collaborations with civic partners help advance water sustainability in California as well as other parts of the world.

Our Research

Right to Water

When nearly 200 counties adopted the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, they pledged to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. Yet this goal is not a reality for millions, including some in California, the only U.S. state to legally recognize a human right to safe, clean, affordable and accessible water. LCI research furthers policy to advance the human right to water.
See research findings.

Local Water Resiliency

To prepare for a changing climate and growing population, communities across California are working to establish a resilient water future. Multi-pronged strategies include conservation and water markets to decrease imported water demands, as well as recycled water and stormwater capture to increase local water supply. LCI research assesses the implications of these strategies to help water agencies and other stakeholders make evidence-based decisions.
See research findings.

Drinking Water Quality

While California is the only state to legally recognize a Human Right to Water, this effort is undermined by mistrust and under-use of tap water. The results are negative health and affordability consequences for households, especially for those most in need. This is why LCI recently launched an initiative in which we are conducting research and hosting discussions to increase trust in tap water, starting in Los Angeles County.
See research findings.


Gregory Pierce, co-director Email | Profile