Bio


Dr. Ajami specializes in sustainable water resource management, water policy, innovation, and financing, and the water-energy-food nexus. Her research throughout the years has been interdisciplinary and impact driven, focusing on the improvement of the science-policy-stakeholder interface by incorporating social and economic measures and effective communication.
She is a gubernatorial appointee to the Bay Area Regional Water Quality Control Board. Before joining Stanford, she worked as a senior research associate at the Pacific Institute, and served as a Science and Technology fellow at the California State Senate’s Natural Resources and Water Committee where she worked on various water and energy related legislation. She has published many highly cited peer-reviewed articles, coauthored two books, and contributed opinion pieces to the New York Times and the Sacramento Bee. She was the recipient of the 2005 National Science Foundation award for AMS Science and Policy Colloquium and ICSC-World Laboratory Hydrologic Science and Water Resources Fellowship from 2000 to 2003. Dr. Ajami received her Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering from the UC, Irvine, an M.S. in hydrology and water resources from the University of Arizona.

Current Role at Stanford


Director of Urban Water Policy

Academic Appointments


Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations


  • Science Advisory Committee Member, Delta Science Program (2018 - Present)
  • Advisory Board Member, Sustainable Silicon Valley (2016 - Present)
  • Board Member, San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board (Gubernatorial Appointment) (2013 - Present)

2017-18 Courses


All Publications


  • Advancing Water Innovation through Public Benefit Funds: Examining California’s Electricity Public Goods Charge Journal American Water Works Association Quesnel, K. J., Ajami, N. K. 2018; 110 (2)
  • A novel search algorithm for quantifying news media coverage as a measure of environmental issue salience Environmental Modelling & Software Roby, N. A., Gonzales, P., Quesnel, K. J., Ajami, N. K. 2018; 101: 249-255
  • An integrative regional resilience framework for the changing urban water paradigm SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND SOCIETY Gonzales, P., Ajami, N. K. 2017; 30: 128-138
  • A Framework for Building Efficient Environmental Permitting Processes SUSTAINABILITY Ulibarri, N., Cain, B. E., Ajami, N. K. 2017; 9 (2)

    View details for DOI 10.3390/su9020180

    View details for Web of Science ID 000395590500022

  • The changing water cycle: impacts of an evolving supply and demand landscape on urban water reliability in the Bay Area Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water Gonzales, P., Ajami, N. 2017; 4 (6): e1240

    View details for DOI 10.1002/WAT2.1240

  • Social and Structural Patterns of Drought-Related Water Conservation and Rebound Water Resources Research Gonzales, P., Ajami, N. 2017; 53

    View details for DOI 10.1002/2017WR021852

  • Accelerating the Integration of Distributed Water Solutions: A Conceptual Financing Model from the Electricity Sector Environmental Management Quesnel, K. J., Ajami, N. K., Wyss, N. 2017; 60 (5): 867–881
  • Coordinating water conservation efforts through tradable credits: A proof of concept for drought response in the San Francisco Bay area Water Resources Research Gonzales, P., Ajami, N., Sun, Y. 2017; 53 (9): 7662–7677

    View details for DOI 10.1002/2017WR020636

  • Changes in water consumption linked to heavy news media coverage of extreme climatic events Science Advances Quesnel, K. J., Ajami, N. K. 2017; 3 (10)

    View details for DOI 10.1126/sciadv.1700784

  • Monthly water balance modeling: Probabilistic, possibilistic and hybrid methods for model combination and ensemble simulation JOURNAL OF HYDROLOGY Nasseri, M., Zahraie, B., Ajami, N. K., Solomatine, D. P. 2014; 511: 675-691
  • Complexity in microbial metabolic processes in soil nitrogen modeling: a case for model averaging STOCHASTIC ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND RISK ASSESSMENT Ajami, N. K., Gu, C. 2010; 24 (6): 831-844
  • Addressing snow model uncertainty for hydrologic prediction ADVANCES IN WATER RESOURCES Franz, K. J., Butcher, P., Ajami, N. K. 2010; 33 (8): 820-832
  • Reply to Comment by B. Renard et al. on "An integrated hydrologic Bayesian multimodel combination framework: Confronting input, parameter, and model structural uncertainty in hydrologic prediction'' WATER RESOURCES RESEARCH Ajami, N. K., Duan, Q., Sorooshian, S. 2009; 45
  • Sustainable water resource management under hydrological uncertainty WATER RESOURCES RESEARCH Ajami, N. K., Hornberger, G. M., Sunding, D. L. 2008; 44 (11)
  • Multi-model ensemble hydrologic prediction using Bayesian model averaging ADVANCES IN WATER RESOURCES Duan, Q., Ajami, N. K., Gao, X., Sorooshian, S. 2007; 30 (5): 1371-1386
  • An integrated hydrologic Bayesian multimodel combination framework: Confronting input, parameter, and model structural uncertainty in hydrologic prediction WATER RESOURCES RESEARCH Ajami, N. K., Duan, Q., Sorooshian, S. 2007; 43 (1)
  • Multi-Model Combination Techniques for Hydrological Forecasting: Application to Distributed Model Intercomparison Project Results Journal of Hydrolometeorology Ajami, N. K., Duan, Q., Gao, X., Sorooshian, S. 2006; 7 (4): 755–768

    View details for DOI 10.1175/JHM519.1

  • Calibration Of A Semi Distributed Hydrologic Model For Streamflow Estimation Along A River System Journal of Hydrology Ajami, N. K., Gupta, H., Wagner, T., Sorooshian, S. 2004; 298 (1-4): 112-135