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UCANR: California Institute for
Water Resources

Davis, CA

Addressing disparities in drinking water access in California through extension


Desired Skills/Traits:

  • Academic background: A background in engineering, environmental science, or policy would best align with the position

  • Primary skills:
    • Strong organizational skills
    • Familiarity with public health and drinking water
    • Collaborative nature and willingness to learn
  • Secondary skills:

    • Interest in visual arts and design

    • Experience working with community-based organizations

  • DEIJ training, outreach, engagement, safety training


Openings: 0 of 1

Focus Area: Agriculture/Water

Watershed Management, Drinking Water Access

project breakdown







Education & Outreach


Goals & Needs

The California Institute for Water Resources (CIWR) and collaborators within the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) support statewide water planning and management needs. An important policy goal is ensuring access to safe and affordable drinking water for all Californians. In the next decade, California will spend over $1 billion dollars on drinking water infrastructure projects, especially in small communities. A network of academic researchers in California has supported development of statewide policies in the past decade through many studies, including the initial Drinking Water Needs Assessment in 2022.


The GrizzlyCorps Fellow will support development of extension resources that translate knowledge and technical information available for community-based organizations and others working on safe and affordable drinking water. The fellow will coordinate with experts in water treatment, governance, and regulations across California to compile and communicate research in concise ways such as fact sheets, which summarize knowledge of drinking water risks, contaminants of concerns, household actions, and available assistance. The fellow will have an opportunity to research with collaborators and engage with communities and community-based organizations to understand information needs through venues such as listening sessions.

Capacity Building Projects

As part of the University of California system, the Fellow will have opportunities to work with UC academics and staff with expertise in a variety of disciplines, including access to online and in-person and professional development opportunities offered by UC ANR.


The most important outcomes of this project include:

  • Improved, openly available educational resources (virtual and printed) that summarize drinking water contaminants and regulations, which provide technical information that communities can use to support planning,

  • Reproducible templates and digital infrastructure to store, organize, and promote resources,which can be used to support future development of educational resources that evolve with policy needs.

  • A baseline evaluation that estimates technical and fiscal needs for safe drinking water in sectors such as non-community systems including farms, ranches, and small rural businesses with transient or year-round populations.


The Fellow will work closely with CIWR leadership on the project and will also be supported by advisory experts of University of California faculty and Cooperative Extension specialists with expertise in water system treatment and governance. The Fellow will also have an opportunity to engage with community-based organizations, state and regional regulatory agencies, and specialists and advisors throughout the University of California Cooperative Extension with personnel based in every county of California.


The Fellow would continue work of last year's successful GrizzlyCorps project, which developed an early set of community-oriented fact sheets and conducted outreach with community-based organizations in California regarding drinking water access.

Organizational & Community Highlights


The California Institute for Water Resources (CIWR) is located within the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) and based in Davis, CA. CIWR conducts research on sustainable water resources management for urban, environmental, and agricultural systems. CIWR is a member of the National Institutes for Water Resources and serves as a hub of water research in California. CIWR supports water research projects throughout the state, coordinates extension programs to improve irrigation and climate-smart agricultural practices, and conducts research on urban and water resources management. CIWR has a leading program in research communications for water and environmental science in California, including hosting the Water Talk podcast and our blog The Confluence.

CIWR has a core team of staff and faculty and works with research collaborators throughout UC ANR, the University of California, and California State University. CIWR also works with non-profit organizations and public agencies on water management issues. In Spring 2023, CIWR started a student internship programs where students focus on research projects related to water policy and management topics. Through the project, the Fellow will have opportunities to work with core CIWR staff and research collaborators.


The Fellow will work with CIWR staff and collaborators across UC and CSU campuses to compile research for drinking water contaminant prevalence in regions, potential health effects of contaminants, and available knowledge of how emergent practices such as groundwater recharge affect drinking water quality. This knowledge will be compiled into educational materials that fill an existing gap: fact sheets and resources that tailor knowledge for communities by understanding questions and concerns of those communities. The Fellow will also have an opportunity to conduct applied research for drinking water needs of small systems in sectors that have received limited attention in recent policy development, including non-community water systems that serve populations such as farm and ranch workers and small rural businesses.

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