Jay Famiglietti is a hydrologist, a Global Futures Professor at Arizona State University, and a science communicator. He is Executive Director Emeritus of the Global Institute for Water Security at the University of Saskatchewan, where he held 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, The Economist, and the Harvard Business Review, 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.