Water Works

The two UC Davis water towers offer perfect photo ops.


popular symbol of UC Davis is the water tower — as seen by many locations on campus and Interstate 80. Actually Davis has three water towers, with two of them located on campus. Both are considered Instagram-worthy locations on campus, and from the slideshow below, you can see why.

Moon Shot

A gibbous moon rises over the water tower by the dairy. (March 2021)

Photo by Gregory Urquiaga

Before Sunset

The remnants of sunset color the clouds pink as the dark blues of the night fill in the background of the sky. (March 2021)

Photo by Gregory Urquiaga

In the Fog

The white of this water tower — officially Domestic Water Tower No. 1 — gets lost in a shroud of fog. (January 2020)

Photo by Gregory Urquiaga

Touchdown Tower

The Homecoming game between UC Davis and Idaho State hits a fever pitch as students cheer Oct. 13, 2018. This water tower — nicknamed Touchdown Tower for its proximity to UC Davis Health Stadium — is officially known as Utility Tower No. 1.

Photo by Gregory Urquiaga

The Crows Come Home

During sunset, crows flock to the trees on Hutchison Drive, swirling around the water tower by the dairy. (March 2021)

Photo by Gregory Urquiaga

Autumn Color

The trees turn red with autumnal color, looking redder next to the white of this water tower. (November 2019)

Photo by Gregory Urquiaga

Starry Night

The night sky swirls around the water tower by the Mondavi Center in a time-lapse image. (May 2021)

Composite photo by Dawson Diaz

Smoky Haze

Fires started by lightning choke the air with smoke, turning the sky orange, on August 20, 2020.

Photo by Gregory Urquiaga

For the Ducks

Ducklings swim over the water tower’s reflection on the Arboretum waterway. (July 2017)

Photo by Gregory Urquiaga

Comet’s Path

The comet NEOWISE passes by the UC Davis water tower July 10, 2020. The image was captured at 4:30 a.m., from a grassy area between Schaal Aquatic Center and UC Davis Health Stadium, using a Nikon Z7 with a 200-400mm lens at 400mm, on a tripod, exposure time 8 seconds.

Photo by Wayne Tilcock

Tour de Force

Drivers lead the Budweiser Clydesdales by the water tower by the dairy Dec. 6, 2017.  The eight-horse team pulled the cart, drivers and dog for a two-hour tour of Davis.

Photo by Gregory Urquiaga

Holiday Wishes

The Dairy Teaching and Research Facility, which is almost under one of the towers, displays a “Moo-y Christmas” sign for a little holiday cheer. (December 2018)

Photo by Gregory Urquiaga

Bridge Views

Two students cross over a bridge in the Arboretum. (November 2016)

Photo by Karin Higgins

Cloudy Skies

Voluminous clouds churn in the sky behind the water tower by the dairy. (April 2017)

Photo by Gregory Urquiaga

Rippling Reflection

The water tower by the Mondavi Center is reflected in ripples in the Arboretum’s waters. (October 2011)

Photo by Gregory Urquiaga

Drone View

A drone gets the viewpoint rarely seen of the water tower by the dairy — and campus — on Feb. 3, 2021.

Photo by Alysha Beck

Solar Spot

The water tower near the Mondavi Center looks over solar panels. (January 2020)

Photo by Gregory Urquiaga

Rear Window

The Arboretum water tower is seen from the student lounge of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science. (September 2013)

Photo by Gregory Urquiaga