David Feldman specializes in water resources management and policy, global climate change policy, ethics and environmental decisions, adaptive management, and sustainable development. His current research is focused on the sources of value conflicts over allocation and distribution of water, and the difficulties in achieving institutional reform to promote equity in water management in the U.S. and elsewhere.
Areas of Expertise (7)
Ethics and Environmental Decisions
Water Resources Management
Global climate change policy
Policy Studies Organization Interdisciplinary Scholar Award (professional)
Aaron Wildavsky Award (professional)
Merit Award for Exceptional Teaching and Research (professional)
1984 Moorhead State University
University of Missouri at Columbia: M.A., Political Science 1975
University of Missouri at Columbia: Ph.D., Political Science 1979
Kent State University, Ohio: B.A., Political Science, English 1973
Magna cum laude
- Frontiers : Associate Editor in Climate, Ecology, and People
- Water : Editorial Board member
- Social Sciences : Editorial Board member
Media Appearances (10)
California: After violent weather, a ghost lake reappears and causes flooding
France Info online
In central Carolina, Lake Tulare – gone for decades – has made a comeback. “There are two problems,” explains David Feldman, professor of [urban planning and] public policy at UC Irvine. “First, the volume of water is such that infiltration will take time. Second, the soil is extremely dry due to these years of drought – it limits its ability to absorb surface water. Again, it will take time.”
How the recent storm system will impact California's drought
KCBS Radio radio
As another series of storms move through California, residents are curious how this recent rainfall will help the drought. To answer all your drought-related questions, Eric Thomas and Margie Schafer spoke with David Feldman, Director of The Water Institute [and professor] at UC Irvine, on "Ask An Expert."
An Interview with David Feldman, the Director of Water UCI
Orange Coast online
David Feldman, director of Water UCI and professor of urban planning and public policy and political science, discusses UC Irvine’s interdisciplinary approach to helping solve the world’s biggest water issues. What is Water UCI? “We started about eight years ago as an initiative on the part of the chancellor to bring different units of the university together to explore issues of societal importance. Some colleagues and I got together and said, ‘A really important issue here is water.’”
How government will allocate water levels from Colorado River
KCBS Radio radio
California has been hammered with rain. It may not be enough to reverse its drought.
NBC News online
“If you can harvest that stormwater, pump it underground into basins or store it through reservoirs or natural engineering means like wetlands, the better you do that, the more equipped you’ll be in dry periods,” said David Feldman, a professor of urban planning and public policy at the University of California Irvine.
Can California’s massive rain solve its historic drought?
The Washington Post online
The Washington Post talked with… David Feldman, the director of the University of California, Irvine’s water institute and professor of urban planning & public policy and political science. Will storm water technology end California’s droughts? Feldman: “Storm water harvesting [is] a piece of a complex puzzle. It will not solve all of our problems, but it can solve an appreciable portion of our problems. We might not want to use rainwater for drinking. However, that water can be treated to various degrees of reuse, at least in order to, for example, irrigate plants or irrigate landscaping.”
UCI News online
The Livable Cities Lab was launched in April 2021, helmed by Tita, with fellow social ecology professors Emily Owens, Susan Turner, John Hipp and David Feldman on board. Its purpose, Tita says, is to come up with research and solutions that address our urban problems. The LCL’s efforts fall into three categories: housing, public safety and social enterprise.
To solve the water crisis, companies are increasingly turning to AI
“It’s pretty bad,” said David Feldman, a political scientist who is the director of Water UCI, a water science and policy think tank at UC Irvine.
The West’s megadrought is worst in 1,200 years. Los Angeles is taking wastewater recycling to the extreme
“There’s good documentation that, in fact, there is less rainfall. What seems to be happening according to most of the climate scientists is we’re getting longer, drier periods,” said David Feldman, professor of urban planning and public policy at University of California at Irvine, and director of Water UCI. “But the irony is those longer, drier periods are punctuated by very intense storm events.”
Technological Innovations May be a Solution to California’s Drought Crisis
The New University online
UCI urban planning and public policy professor David Feldman, who is also the Director of Water UCI, explained the importance of preserving water in an interview with Aaron Orlowski.
Event Appearances (5)
Public Acceptance as Key to Water Innovations
Cassandra EURECAT and European Union
Toward a New Water Politics: Embracing ethics and cultural diversity in a water-sensitive future
Mexican Institute of Water Technology (Instituto Mexicano de Technologia del Agua) Online
People, Place, and Environment as seen through California’s water – must the past be our future?
Investigating People, Place, and the Environment San Diego County Office of Education conference
Depletion, Degradation, Diversion – the death and life of inland seas as a global policy challenge
Dead Sea Research Institute’s 2nd global scientific summit Ein Bokek, Israel
Governance and Governmentalities – what makes freshwater alternatives politically acceptable Boris Mints Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions to Global Challenges
School of Social and Policy Studies Tel-Aviv University, Israel
Perceived services and disservices of natural treatment systems for urban stormwater: Insight from the next generation of designersPeople and Nature
2022 Natural treatment systems (NTS) for stormwater have the potential to provide a myriad of ecosystem services to society. Realizing this potential requires active collaboration among engineers, ecologists and landscape planners and begins with a paradigm shift in communication whereby these groups are made aware of each other's perceptions about NTS and the presence of knowledge gaps that their respective disciplines can bridge.
Environmental Attitudes and Knowledge: Do They Matter for Support and Investment in Local Stormwater Infrastructure?Society & Natural Resources
2021 Stormwater infrastructure substantially impacts water quality and supply. In the U.S., local agency investments rely on public support from taxes or fees. Assessing individuals’ knowledge and willingness to pay helps inform potential pathways to funding and green infrastructure implementation.
University Stormwater Management within Urban Environmental Regulatory Regimes: Barriers to Progressivity or Opportunities to Innovate?Environmental Management
2021 U.S. public university campuses are held directly responsible for compliance with many of the same federal- and state-level environmental regulations as cities, including stormwater management. While operating as ‘cities within cities’ in many respects, campuses face unique constraints in achieving stormwater regulatory compliance.
From yards to cities: a simple and generalizable probabilistic framework for upscaling outdoor water conservation behaviorEnvironmental Research Letters
2020 Outdoor watering of lawns accounts for about half of single-family residential potable water demand in the arid southwest United States. Consequently, many water utilities in the region offer customers cash rebates to replace lawns with drought tolerant landscaping. Here we present a parcel-scale analysis of water savings achieved by a 'cash-for-grass' program offered to 60 000 homes in Southern California.
Addressing Pluvial Flash Flooding through Community-Based Collaborative Research in Tijuana, MexicoWater
2020 Pluvial flash flooding (PFF) is a growing hazard facing cities around the world as a result of rapid urbanization and more intense precipitation from global warming, particularly for low-resourced settings in developing countries. We present collaborative modeling (CM) as an iterative process to meet diverse decision-making needs related to PFF through the co-production of flood hazard models and maps.