About

Jay Famiglietti by Sadie Goff
Jay Famiglietti in Sierra Madre, California, February, 2018. Photo by Sadie Goff.

Jay Famiglietti is a hydrologist, a professor and the Executive Director of the Global Institute for Water Security at the University of Saskatchewan, where he holds the Canada 150 Research Chair in Hydrology and Remote Sensing. He was the founding Chief Scientist of the Silicon Valley tech startup, Waterplan, which he continues to advise. Before moving to Saskatchewan, he served as the Senior Water Scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology.  From 2013 through 2018, he was appointed  by Governor Jerry Brown to the California State Water Boards.

From 2001 to 2016, Jay was a professor of Earth System Science and of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Irvine, where he was the Founding Director of the UC Center for Hydrologic Modeling. Before joining UCI in 2001, he was on the faculty of the Geological Sciences Department at the University of Texas at Austin, where he helped launch the program in climate and the UT Environmental Science Institute.

Jay and his team have been researching and communicating about water and climate change — in academics, in business, in government and to the general public — for over 30 years.   He has appeared on CBS News 60 Minutes, on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, and as a featured expert in water documentaries including “Day Zero” and “Last Call at the Oasis” Jay is a frequent speaker and he is an avid writer for the general public.  His research and commentary are often featured in the international news media, including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian and The Economist,  and in network, cable and public television news.  Jay is a regular guest on National Public Radio, BBC Radio, CBC Radio and other public radio shows. He is the host of the “What About Water” science communication podcast.

Other of Jay’s film and television credits include the PBS 3-part documentaryH2O: The Molecule That Made Us“, Jigsaw Productions‘ documentary Water and Power: A California Heist,” VICE , and Years of Living Dangerously.  He was a story consultant on the National Geographic Channel water documentary series “Parched.” Most recently Jay appeared in the diwafilm water documentaries Bis zum letzten Tropfen – Die Doku (To the Last Drop – The Documentary) and the documentary mini-series Durst – Wenn unser Wasser verschwindet (Thirst: When our Water Disappears).

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Download an updated curriculum vitae.

Publicity photos can be downloaded here.