Partner Profile: The PPIC Water Policy Center

By Ellen Hanak

Director, PPIC Water Policy Center

The PPIC Water Policy Center

Managing water in California is a difficult task. The state has the most variable year-to-year precipitation in the country. This volatility requires intense water management to supply 40 million people and nine million acres of irrigated farmland, and to support populations of numerous freshwater species, especially the state’s iconic fishes like salmon and steelhead. The task is made more difficult by a rapidly changing climate. This is leading to warming, loss of snowpack, more intense droughts, and increasing flood risk that affects all facets of water management, including protecting the environment. 

To help the state prepare, the PPIC Water Policy Center has published a series of research reports on managing water and ecosystems in a changing climate. Most recently, we published a policy brief to highlight important actions to improve climate resilience. Priorities for California’s Water summarizes key actions to help prepare the state’s water system and natural environment for coming changes. California Trout was a sponsor of this report.



This work was the focus of a free public event in November, which brought together expert panelists from various local agencies, NGOs, and state government to discuss ways forward. These panel discussions are a great way to bring multiple perspectives to tough issues, and spur important conversations.

Going forward, we’re thrilled to announce the PPIC CalTrout ecosystem fellowship, funded by a group of community leaders to support critical analysis of science-based ecosystem management topics. Our first fellow is Ted Grantham, a UC Berkeley river scientist who will be working on research showing how to use “functional flows” to improve the health of freshwater ecosystems. 



Ellen Hanak is vice president and director of the PPIC Water Policy Center and a senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, where she holds the Ellen Hanak Chair in Water Policy. Under her leadership, the center has become a critical source of information and guidance for natural resource management in California. 

Read Previous Article
Spot Check: Southern California Steelhead
Read Next Article
My Perspective: Caroline Ruppert
Back to Science Issue
Privacy Policy Cookie Policy