The SWC aims to provide information that supports water actions and decisions in response to real-time conditions in the environment — nature doesn’t operate on a calendar and neither should the regulations governing water management. By looking at our state’s water supply challenges through a scientific lens, we can help provide a more reliable water supply for California and protect, restore and enhance the Delta ecosystem.

Read our Science Plan


The SWC and its public water agencies are committed to science-based decision-making for the management of water supplies for the environment and the people of California. The SWC invests over $2 million annually in addition to the funding provided by DWR to support its own Division of Environmental Services (DES) activities, monitoring, and research. Together, the SWC and DWR are studying the delicate Delta ecosystem and collaborating with our partners in academia, government, non-profit and the private sectors.


California must use the best available science to inform the way we meet the challenge of protecting fish species while ensuring a reliable water supply for millions of Californians. Ongoing research and continued investments in science and technology present California with an opportunity to both fulfill human water needs and protect our environment.

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

The Delta is an environmental treasure and serves as the hub for California’s water supply. As we seek to balance the water needs of both people and the environment, we need to fill in the data gaps to better understand the many stressors affecting the Delta ecosystem and the fish that depend on it. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to protecting and restoring the Delta ecosystem, we must base our water management actions and decisions on the latest available science to respond to real-time conditions in our environment.

Habitat Restoration

More than 90 percent of our original wetlands and floodplains have been lost to human development and several important components of the dynamic habitat fish need have been removed. Habitat restoration is recreating that inherent magic in water’s interaction with land to restore their historical habitat. The SWC are investing in research to inform habitat restoration approaches to maximize the benefits of habitat restoration projects.

For the Fish

For the fish we are all trying to protect, the right landscape is just as critical as the right flow, and how these interact with each other to restore the dynamic functions of their habitat is the question we need to answer.

Water Management Tools & Technologies

The SWC is applying research to the development of cutting-edge water management tools and models that can be used to support better decision-making.

Our Commitment to Collaborative Science

The SWC are going above-and-beyond by collaborating with our partners at the local, state and federal levels, in academia and the private sector, to help the state meet its water needs, now and into the future.

The Next Generation of Water Researchers

The SWC are also working to foster California’s next generation of water researchers through the Sea Grant Fellowship, which provides unique research opportunities for graduate and post-doctoral students interested in freshwater resources and policy decisions.


  • Contributing to California’s knowledge on estuarine and freshwater ecosystems
  • Participating in collaborative science efforts with partners in public, private and academic sectors
  • Furthering our understanding about water quality issues and solutions
  • Encouraging dialogue on climate change and climate change solutions through adaptive water management
  • Restoring thousands of acres of habitat and returning previously threatened species back to their native environments
  • Driving innovative practices in water supply management
  • Promoting carbon-free hydroelectric energy and sustainability
  • Balancing the water needs of people with preserving the environment


To learn about how the State Water Contractors and its 27 member agencies collectively are investing millions of dollars annually in science, research and innovation, please visit our Science Resources page.