Cuyama Valley Water Needs Assessment

The Cuyama Water Needs Assessment is aimed at understanding the needs of the population in the Cuyama Valley, which is entirely dependent on groundwater in a critically overdrafted basin. The project involves two principal activities: a survey and ethnographic fieldwork.   First, the Cuyama Water Census is an effort to survey every household in the Cuyama Valley, to generate information in three areas: basic demographic indicators; information about water uses, concerns and perceptions, community organization and politics.  The survey is completely anonymous and voluntary.  Second, participatory fieldwork on the unfolding process of water management in the Cuyama groundwater basin orients and complements the survey infformation.  The overall goal of the project is to diagnose problems in water use and management faced by residents in the Cuyama Valley, and to suggest possible areas of future intervention to address these problems.  The project is directed by Professor Casey Walsh, and team of undergraduate and graduate students from the departments of Anthropology and Political Science at UCSB participate in this research.