Senior Research Associate - Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment; Director of Urban Water Policy - Water in the West
Academic Research Staff
Water in the West
Newsha Ajami, Ph.D., is a hydrologist specializing in sustainable water resource management, flood and water supply forecasting, and advancing uncertainty assessment techniques impacting hydrological predictions. Her research throughout the years has been interdisciplinary and impact-driven, focusing on the improvement of the science-policy-stakeholder interface by incorporating social and economic measures and relevant and effective communication.
Ajami serves as a member of the Bay Area Regional Water Quality Control Board. She worked as a senior research associate at the Pacific Institute from 2011-2013. Prior to that, Ajami served as a science and technology fellow at the California State Senate’s Natural Resources and Water Committee where she worked on various water and energy related legislation and as a post doctorate researcher with the Berkeley Water Center, U.C. Berkeley, focusing on improving the management of California’s water resources by developing an integrated operational platform encouraging collaboration between engineers, economists, and operational agencies.
Ajami has published many highly cited peer-reviewed papers in prominent journals, and was the recipient of 2005 NSF award for AMS Science and Policy Colloquium and ICSC-World Laboratory Hydrologic Science and Water Resources Fellowship from 2000-2003. Ajami received her Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering from the University of California, Irvine, an M.S. in hydrology and water resources from the University of Arizona and a B.S. in civil and environmental engineering from Tehran Polytechnic.
In her position as Director of Urban Water Policy with the Water in the West and NSF-ReNUWIt initiatives, Ajami focuses on bridging the gap between science and policy by crafting a research agenda that will seamlessly integrate hard science and soft science (social sciences and economics) to improve urban water resource management. She also leads the water/energy nexus program at Water in the West.
Selected Publications by this Author
Funding Water in Times of Financial Uncertainty (PDF/5.53 MB) »
The Path to Water Innovation (PDF/879.36 KB) »
News & Press Releases
Using lessons from the energy sector, Stanford researchers outline strategies to bring the nation's water infrastructure into the 21st century.
Quotes Newsha Ajami, Woods senior research associate and director of urban water policy for Water in the West, on need for sustainable water system funding.
Quotes Newsha Ajami, director of urban water policy at Water in the West, on the substantial "soft paths" California can take to save water while reducing environmental impacts and saving money.
By Peter H. King,
Interview with Newsha Ajami, director of urban water policy at Water in the West, about some of the advances she’s seeing around the state, and what a "next-gen water system” might look like.
By Lori Pottinger,