CWES: Center for Watersheds and Environmental Sustainability

CWES researchers in the field
CWES researchers in the field

The Center for Watersheds and Environmental Sustainability (CWES) was created in 1999 as part of DRI's approach to interdisciplinary research. As aquatic environments and watersheds become increasingly stressed from impacts including global climate change, their management for long-term sustainability will be fundamental to overall ecosystem health.

The mission of CWES is to facilitate development of interdisciplinary research teams that address a variety of science issues important to policy decisions at the watershed scale. Information gained from these research programs will be disseminated to land managers and policy and regulatory decision makers to provide scientific guidance for appropriate policy development.

Lake Tahoe Nearshore Evaluation and Monitoring Framework

This project represents an initial collaborative step between the science community and the resource management agencies to develop a comprehensive approach for assessing and managing the nearshore ecology and aesthetics of Lake Tahoe. 

CWES Research Programs

CWES has focused research programs in the Lake Tahoe and Walker Lake Basin watersheds. Knowledge gained from these research programs is applicable to other watersheds throughout the western U.S. including the Truckee, Carson, and Humboldt River watersheds. CWES has also conducted international watershed research projects in areas like the Nabogo and Bani River watersheds in Ghana and Mali, West Africa.

CWES Vision

The vision of CWES is to develop innovative research programs that integrate the hydrologic, geologic, and atmospheric processes with water quality, nutrient dynamics, ecology, resource sustainability, and environmental policy. New strategies and approaches developed from these interdisciplinary research efforts will address significant questions and solve problems pertaining to watershed processes and restoration effectiveness. New research information will help to inform the planning and management policy processes for improved watershed sustainability.