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Borgias wins water policy and economics dissertation award

Sophia Borgias, assistant professor of interdisciplinary programs in the School of Public Service, recently won the dissertation award in the water policy and economics category from the Universities Council on Water Resources.

Her dissertation offers a critical reassessment of the emblematic water conflict over the Los Angeles Aqueduct, one of the first large rural-to-urban inter-basin water transfers in the American West. Drawing on three years of in-depth archival, ethnographic, and collaborative research, it examines how public, private, and tribal interests have been weighed in decision-making about land and water allocation over time.

Her dissertation also reveals historical injustices and enduring impacts for Indigenous peoples and the environment that have often been overlooked in popular narratives of the water conflict.