Environmental and social change in water-scarce regions across the globe pose significant challenges to the well-being of social-ecological systems (SES). The MILES program has recently established Idaho as a research site within the Program for Ecosystem Change and Society (PECS) sponsored project: “Water scarcity and governance across Social-Ecological Systems (WaterSES)”. PECS promotes transdisciplinary, placed-based comparative research to identify appropriate operational scales for SES stewardship and management. Place-based comparisons allow for deep understanding of interactions across scales; help identify thresholds, traps, and time lags; determining when drivers of global change are fast or slow and direct or indirect. The PECS-WaterSES project compares the social-ecological dynamics of three international research sites—Spain, Oklahoma, and Idaho. The objective of this workshop is to bring together researchers affiliated with each WaterSES site to advance project goals and incorporate new MILES researchers and/or research sites into the project.