Currently, NHI’s two active programs focus on the California Waterscape and Restoring Natural Functions in Developed River Basins in international settings. NHI is animated by the need to create a legacy of regeneration instead of degradation of the natural world, and by the belief that the opportunities for repair are larger than generally imagined if the necessary techniques, skills and resources can be brought to bear. We systematically organize our work to test, apply, and refine strategies for maximum effectiveness across diverse circumstances.
Throughout our history we have worked in California and especially the Bay Delta. We work collaboratively with regulators, water agencies, and other stakeholders to help identify and define long-term restoration strategies for the Bay Delta, and continue to play a key role in the planning process that will shape the Delta over the next several decades. We also engage at the local level to advance demonstration projects that illuminate the best path forward and build a constituency for change on the ground.
Utilizing our diverse capabilities and expertise, our international development focus is on creating partnerships that bring together stakeholders at the local, regional, governmental and non-governmental levels to design and implement water resource management innovations to restore freshwater ecosystems and the human livelihoods that they support. We seek to also address the important need for climate change adaptation in developing countries where many communities are most vulnerable to the extreme weather that is predicted with a changing climate.
In transboundary water systems we apply water management innovations that can break through decades-long impasses between riparian states. We employ a cascade of analytical screens that start with the creation of a water resources database and an associated advanced hydrologic simulation of the important physical processes in the entire basin. We then use this tool to evaluate the feasibility of a suite of stakeholder-generated scenarios for improving the management in stressed systems, particularly those opportunities that bridge across management units and jurisdictional boundaries. By feasibility, we mean both physical viability and the ability to provide mutual benefits to stakeholders throughout the system. These scenarios are developed in consultation with the full range of water managers and water users in all jurisdictions. The “winning scenarios” are then be subjected to an economic feasibility analysis, and, finally, a legal and political feasibility analysis.
Over the years, NHI has completed many different projects both domestically and internationally that are an important part of NHI’s history. They also represent the breadth of NHI’s expertise. You can find out more about these past programs and projects under ‘About NHI’ and also under the Program subpages.