Accelerating Applied Research

The CaDC identifies the highest research priorities of our member agencies, the areas where new knowledge can have a profound impact on the way public dollars are invested, and then figures out a way to get answers. When existing studies are available, this includes summarizing the current state of knowledge in digestible form and helping to translate that information into action. In other cases the answer may not exist yet, so the CaDC partners with world-leading academic institutions and also performs analysis in-house to push forward the envelope of knowledge.

Examples of CaDC Research

How much Water does Turf Removal Save?

One of the CaDC’s first research projects was to estimate the water savings of turf replacement rebate programs in Southern California. Our staff re-purposed a statistical method used in tech companies for marketing impact assessment in order to estimate impact of turf replacement. This work was initially published at a leading data science conference and then expanded to a publication in the journal Annals of Applied Statistics. Average savings were found of 24.6 gallons per square foot per year, but large variation was also observed, with significant increases in savings observable for low-income and households that were previously inefficient water users.

Owners vs. Renters -encouraging water savings

To investigate differences in water efficiency savings between homeowners and renters, the CaDC shared data with Bryan Pratt, a Research Agricultural Economist with the USDA Economic Research Service. This work is ongoing, but early results, published in a working paper, show little difference in how renters and owners respond to price and non-price signals.

California Water Efficiency: Leading the way into the future

Partnering with the Southern California Water Coalition, Water Energy Task Force, the CaDC published a report highlighting opportunities to advance efficient water use through collaboration and tapping into new funding streams.