UCI News

Jay Famiglietti testifies before Congress about drought

The UCI Earth system science professor urges major investment in water research and monitoring.

July 28, 2012

UCI Earth system science professor Jay Famiglietti told Congress on Wednesday, July 25, that major investment in water research and monitoring is needed as the nation struggles to cope with drought and other supply issues. Testifying before the House Committee on Science, Space & Technology, he said: “Drought is an insidious and patient killer of food and fuel crops, of livestock, of flora and fauna, and of humans, and it has emerged as a major threat to our nation’s food, health, economic and water security.” Famiglietti asked Congress to support more realistic computer simulation models – to help fill fundamental gaps in knowledge of surface and shallow subsurface conditions – and more satellite research. He added: “Water is on a trajectory to rival energy in its importance in the United States, yet the investment in observations, models and explorations of the subsurface pales in comparison. We have the potential to be world leaders in characterizing, monitoring and predicting all aspects of the water environment, from forecasting droughts and floods to science-informed, technology-based, long-term sustainable water management. The vision and the technology are in place, and leadership in Congress is what will make it a reality.”