About the Urban Water Institute (UWI)


Mission of the Urban Water Institute

The mission of the Urban Water Institute (UWI) is to provide non-partisan information of timely and pertinent interest to the water resource industry, including public agencies and private firms, with particular emphasis on water economics, management and resource policies as they affect consumers and the general economy.

UWI is a relationship-based organization that serves as a valuable resource for water professionals, elected officials and other water stakeholders. We provide a critical forum for discussion and debate, enabling decision makers to gain key insight and consider diverse perspectives on water issues impacting the western United States.

In all of our activities and operations, we are mindful of the value of developing, nurturing and sustaining professional relationships.  Through our relationship-based interactions, we successfully engage in beneficial dialogues that reflect and respect different views, perspectives and policy positions.

History of Urban Water Institute

The UWI was incorporated as a nonprofit public education organization in the State of California in 1993. Wayne Clark, an active leader in the water industry for more than 35 years, founded the UWI and served as its first Executive Director. 

"Water is a precious resource that we must all work together to protect. We need to educate the public about the importance of water conservation and make sure that we have sound water management policies in place." 

– Wayne Clark, Founder of the UWI

UWI Board of Directors

UWI is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors drawn from hands-on policy makers, elected officials and industry leaders who are active in the water resources industry. Every member of the Urban Water Institute is eligible for a seat on the Board, if they desire to serve the organization. Learn more about our Board of Directors. 

UWI Strategic Plan

We are focused on providing timely, compelling and diverse discussion of water policy, economics and resource management issues.

Below are the five key goals in UWI’s Strategic Plan, adopted at the Board Strategic Planning Workshop on December 20, 2023:

  1.  Influence western water policy by facilitating an exchange of ideas.
  2.  Deliver conferences, events and content that feature timely, thought-provoking and sometimes controversial programs.
  3.  Inspire an engaged water community by fostering enduring relationships.
  4.  Create opportunities for water policy makers to exchange ideas and expand their knowledge.
  5.  Expand water policy dialogue by welcoming new voices, perspectives and ideas.

How we’re bringing our mission to life...

We’re passionate about keeping water leaders and the organizations they represent informed and engaged on key water resource issues. Here are some of the ways we’re educating decision makers and members of the public.

Nationally-Renowned Water Conferences

Each year, the Urban Water Institute hosts two conferences that are attended by the nation’s top water experts and key decision makers. The Spring Water Conference takes place in February in Palm Springs and the Fall Water Conference takes place in August in San Diego. The conferences feature elite speakers who present diverse perspectives on water resource management topics. Learn more about our upcoming conferences. 

Academic Sponsorships & Scholarships

Each year, we sponsor one of the Water Education Foundation applicants as part of our ongoing efforts to support future water industry leaders. 

We also offer the Wayne Clarke Young Professionals Water Education Scholarship to support water leaders pursuing advanced education.

Educational & Professional Development Opportunities

We provide educational programs and workshops on water resource management topics. We also support newer members of the water industry through strategic mentorships. 

Professional Networking Opportunities

In addition to our two annual Conferences, additional opportunities for networking and dialogue are provided throughout the year to our members.

Join the Urban Water Institute

Ready to join California’s leading water industry experts in debating and raising awareness of critical water policy issues? Learn how to become a UWI member.