Berkeley Water Center

The Berkeley Water Center takes a comprehensive approach to water resources research and management that reflects the conditions of the 21st Century: variable and uncertain supply, increasing demand and inadequate structural and institutional infrastructure. We seek to develop and demonstrate the application of new concepts, information and engineering technology and computational tools that serve diverse water interests.

The BWC is comprised of researchers from several UC Berkeley Colleges and Departments, including more than 70 faculty members with water-related expertise. Our interdisciplinary approach makes the Center the single integrated resource for water-related research on campus.  Our current research themes address water reuse, environmental data management, and water resources management.

David Sedlak
(510) 643-0735
Isha Ray
Staff contact
Sang Oum
(510) 643-0735
Mailing address

410 O'Brien Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-1718

Featured in the Media

Please note: The views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect the official policies or positions of the campus.
January 29, 2019
Lindzi Wessel
More than 2 billion people around the world lack access to safe drinking water, and very little progress has been made solving the problem. One of the issues is that while there are ways that householders can make their water potable, the effort or time required is a hindrance. Associate energy and resources professor Isha Ray, co-director of the Berkeley Water Center, points out that in areas where people are poor and already overworked, the extra steps required to clean water properly can be daunting. Expressing doubt that she could do any better in the same circumstances, she says: "One thing we know from the social sciences is people are not all the time driven only and exclusively by health considerations. ... Every single person I know has a gym membership they don't use, including myself," so it's not realistic to expect a person with fewer resources and more daily chores to take on additional water-treatment jobs. Carrying and treating water can be a "painful chore that has to be repeated every day," she says, and it's one that's typically left to women. "And that means her body is acting as infrastructure, covering for a piece of pipe."