water flowing in mountains

Fostering research in watershed science and management

The Watershed Science Institute (WSI) promotes collaboration among SDSU researchers and communities involved in the management and regulation of land and water resources.  The objective of WSI is to improve the integration of science, policy, and management of watersheds by aligning research questions with critical management needs.  The regional focus is on Southern California, including San Diego County, Imperial Valley and the US-Mexico Border region, all of which face critical challenges related to water resources and water quality, including drinking water supply shortages, climate change, water quality deterioration, impaired surface water bodies, soil erosion, and coastal contamination.

Hydrologic & Watershed Modeling

Field studies and modeling of hydrologic response to land cover change and wildfire

Remote Sensing

Mapping vegetation, invasive species, riparian zones, land cover, 3D reconstruction, evapotranspiration

Management & Policy

Environmental law, US-Mexico border, water policy

Water Quality & Ecosystems

Biogeochemical modeling, nutrient dynamics, organic matter dynamics, arsenic, stormwater quality


In the News

Stewards of the San Diego River

SDSU researchers are teaming up to protect the health of the river and mitigate flooding.

The San Diego River is a capricious and temperamental thing. The first Spanish explorers who worked the land discovered this the hard way: Upon encountering the dribbling stream in 1769 that emptied into False Bay (today Mission Bay), they concluded it was nothing more than a tame trickle. A month later, they planted grains along its banks. Then the year’s first rains swelled the river and took out the crops. The next year, they planted farther back—only to experience a drought year that left their fields dry and withered.

Read the full story on SDSU NewsCenter