Cuyama Water Needs Assessment

With support of the Califronia Department of Water Resources and Integrated Regional Water Management Program, in 2018 a team of researchers from UC Santa Barbara conducted a survey with the goal of generating data from all households in the Cuyama Valley about three interrelated topics: 1) basic demographics; 2) water uses and needs; 3) governance.

Groundwater and Grapes in California’s Central Coast (2014–present) 

This project assesses the impact of expanding wine grape cultivation on groundwater in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties. Particular attention is given to the recent capitalization of the sector, the depletion of aquifers, and the ensuing creation and implementation of laws regulating groundwater in California. It situates the local social and environmental dimensions of the expansion of wine grape production within global markets and climate change. 

The Social Use of Hot Springs (2010–present) 

Geothermal resources have always been a central focus of the world’s different water cultures, but have received almost no attention from social scientists. This project investigates the social use of hot springs in Mexico and California, and problems concerning: 1) access; 2) infrastructure; 3) bathing; and 4) environmental values. 

Water, Agriculture and Society in the Mexican Borderlands (2001-present) 

This project studies the history and current condition of water in the Mexico-United States Border region. Attention is placed on the history of cotton, and subsequent development of high-value crops. It analizes the social and economic effects caused in urban and rural sectors by water scarcity, as well as the changes to social and physical infrastructures.